Making This Video Portrait Required Lady Gaga to Pose for 6 Hours

Now this is fascinating: Lady Gaga worked with photographer Robert Wilson to produce a stunning video portrait. The portrait was one of a set of others that were on display in the Lourve last year, but are only released to American audiences last Saturday at the Watermill Center in New York. Likely as a marketing initiative, two minutes of those 6 hours have been uploaded to YouTube. I'm continually surprised by Gaga who besides being quite lyrically talented (even if you don't like her you should at least recognize that she is good at what she does), is capable in quite a few other artisitc mediums including, apparently, being a human painting. 

In an article in Vogue, writer Mark Guiducci explains what's happening:

One, in particular, sees Gaga embody Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière, who was in her early teens when Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres painted her portrait in 1806. With the costume and setting of Ingres’ original exactingly imitated, Wilson and Gaga then go off script in a nearly ten-minute video, a portion of which is seen here, that breathes life into its Neoclassical antecedent—quite literally, in fact, as one barely perceives the slow rise and fall of Gaga’s chest as she respires. Steadily falling teardrops, a swan in slow-motion flight, and a violin-based score further differentiate Wilson’s work from Ingres’ painted original, which was clearly just a starting point for his work with Gaga. Perhaps most remarkable here is the global pop star’s ability to completely disappear into a character other than herself. And actually, after witnessing Wilson’s Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière, it won’t sound so surprising to hear that Gaga will appear alongside Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba next month in the sequel to Frank MillerSin City.  


Not sure how I feel about the video portrait on YouTube, but I imagine seeing it in a gallary would be quite the experience.

[Via Lady Gaga on Facebook and Vogue

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Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

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Lady Gaga simply put is a boundry pusher, and I don't mean that in a bad way. Based on many interviews I've seen of her she always gets asked about her clothes or something else she's done. In almost every case she says or implys it's for the sake of art. To see her do something like this is no surprise, it's quite remarkable really. Who else among her peers would last 30 minutes much less 6 hours. The only one that immediately comes to mind would be Pink.

I agree that YouTube is not the best place to view it but it would be cool to see it in it's intended setting to get the real impact of the work as a whole.

I agree with Bo... Im not a fan of her music ( never was and highly doubt i ever will be), but she is an artist nonetheless. She should be seen as an inspiration not only by fellow singers/songwriters but anyone undertaking the creative field. She pushes boundaries, breaks rules and goes into the unknown and you know what... she probably fails more than anything but when she wins, she wins huge! and that is seen by her following and her fans...

To the video - i found it strangely captivating... rather beautiful actually. I really liked it.

Completely agree, this lady has the talent unlike some

Couldn't imagine standing completely still for sooo long.

I'd like to see it somewhere other than YouTube as well. I'm not really a fan of her music but she's turned her career or herself into a living work of art. It's fascinating. People who don't care for fashion or awards shows are somehow interested in what she's wearing or how she shows up (thankfully, no more eggs).

And 6 hours?! I can't sit still for 2 minutes.

Well it's certainly different than something I've seen. Standing that long has GOT to be tiresome, kudos on that!

I saw this exhibit at the Louvre in January. It took me a while to figure out that it was a video, she stands so still. After I realized what was going on I stood there and watched it for a good 20 minutes. The moment the tear started rolling down her cheek really stuck with me. I thought it was clever and I had no idea it was Lady Gaga.

The room that the exhibit was displayed in was very dark with some subtle ambient lighting. All around the room there were other "video portraits" of The Head of John the Baptist on a platter. Each one did something different. Those were interesting as well but the "Mademoiselle Caroline" work definitely stole the show.