In inimitable fashion, Lady Gaga brought new music, sculpture, an anti-drug speech, and a flying dress together at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The “artRAVE” introduced the world to a sober Lady Gaga and the single “Dope.” The newly straight-edge artist hasn’t lost any of her penchant for showmanship, as her propeller-driven dress “Volantis” demonstrated. As the launch party for her ArtPop album, the artRAVE was a flashy launch to a new chapter in the artist’s career, marking her full transition into a fixed institution in the pop music landscape.
The performance included myriad costumes, a staple of Lady Gaga’s live performances. The larger-than-life sculpture of the artist, however, was a dramatic new touch. Alongside the statue, which was the courtesy of Jeff Koons, the event served as the premier of works of art by Marina Abramovic, Inez & Vinoodh and Robert Wilson. From the chart-topping momentum of her singles to the avant-garde character of her live appearances, Lady Gaga continues to break down the divisions between popular and high culture. If the outlandish flavor of the artRAVE is any indication, she won’t be stopping any time soon.