French Artist Sues Lady Gaga for Plagiarism, Asks for $31.5 million

Homage or plagiarism?

French artist ORLAN, well-known for using her body as a tool for her art, sues Gaga for plagiarism, saying the singer has counterfeited 3 of her works through her Born This Way era, and especially in her Born This Way video.

The works that are being talked about here are "Bumpload", a sculpture representing ORLAN as a sort of bionic hybrid, that is, according to the artist, what inspired the BTW album cover.

The 2nd work is the 1996 installation "Woman with head", that has apparently been "copied" by Gaga through one of the BTW video sequences.

Finally, ORLAN accuses Gaga especially of stealing the idea of wearing the face implants that the artist infamously got through a surgery-performance in the 90s.

ORLAN asks for 7% of the BTW proceeds, which represents $31.5 million. She also wants the BTW video to be banned from television networks, and stop the commercialisation of the BTW album.

Saying that I'm disappointed with this is an understatement: I've known Gaga's interest in ORLAN for a long time, and I've always admired ORLAN's artistry and way of thinking, very close to Gaga's BTW message indeed (the fact you weren't born once, that you can go through multiple rebirths through your life). They also share a fascination for hybridation. Many times at the university, I've talked about Gaga and ORLAN in essays, talking about "carnal art" and identity.... and I feel profoundly shocked by this news.

One could say: why wait all this time to sue BTW? Apparently, ORLAN wasn't aware of all this until quite recently. But that surprises me, as ORLAN was actually aware of Gaga's interest in her since at least 2010... Indeed, Alexandra Boucherifi, who organized the first ever Gaga exhibition in Paris back in 2010, asked for ORLAN works to be included at the exhibition, and ORLAN agreed.

This photograph was on display at the exhibition, having apparently inspired the "Alejandro" video imagery:

Source en français