Today Lady Gaga unveiled her latest video to the world, created in collaboration with leading photographers Inez Van Lammsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and London-based illustrator Jo Ratcliffe. The video for Applause, the first single of her forthcoming album, sees Gaga in a number of surreal guises including a smeared clown face (created by make-up artist Yadim), and a blonde heroine character wearing a Maison Martin Margiela couture A/W13 green mosaic jacket.
There's something fascinating about her collaboration with Van Lamsweerde and Matadin. Having collaborated with other leading image-makers including Nicola Formichetti and Nick Knight, the latest Gaga moment is her most stripped back. In a similar manner to her recent naked moment for Marina Abramović, in Applause, Gaga appears a number of times in barely there make-up, her hair shrouded in monochrome scarves and skullcaps. There is still plenty of Gaga theatrical dress-up at work, courtesy of stylist Brandon Maxwell, yet under the lens of the acclaimed photography duo, she is her most alluring to date.
London-based illustrator Ratcliffe has a longstanding relationship with Van Lamsweerde and Matadin, including a tantalising Balmain animation featuring Kate Moss. Here, Ratcliffe speaks exclusively to AnOther about her work on Applause.
How long did filming take?
They filmed over three days at Paramount in Los Angeles in two huge studios. I've never seen such a dressing room either – it was on an epic scale, all of it very beautiful. The laser tunnel scene was incredible – its' so great to see this stuff happening in front of your eyes. I think it tends to be lost with videos today – you could easily assume these moments were a post production effect. It was exciting and incredibly inspiring to hear the song blasted out in the studio and to see all this creative work going on in front of you.
What were the ideas behind the video?
The ideas were all from Inez and Vinoodh's original brief but we tried lots of things out. Everyone was keen to push it a little, we were referencing Segundo de Chomon and old painted silent films of the time. The films were just as much an inspiration for the method as the look in keeping it as real as possible.
Text by Laura Bradley