The ARTPOP era has officially begun. Lady Gaga unveils the cover art for “Applause,” the first single off her upcoming album. The pop icon transforms into a sad clown with a painted white face and smeared makeup, with her hair covered in a head wrap and draped in a white coat. The Pierrot-inspired photo was taken by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, who also directed the music video.
The cover represents her love for performing. “It’s the end of the night after the show,” she tells Women’s Wear Daily. “When I look at it I see that there is a longing for the applause. I see that there is a void that is leaking onstage, that the performer is leaking, that the art is sort of becoming something else in front of your eyes. Something more human, something more honest.”
The song, which she co-wrote with DJ White Shadow, arrives August 19. “I’ll tell you that it is very fun,” she adds. “And that it’s full of happiness, because what I’m saying in the song essentially is that I live for the applause. I live for the way you cheer and scream for me.”
Gaga will perform “Applause” at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on August 25, while ARTPOP arrives November 11.
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