Lady Gaga and Comfort in Vomit Painting at SXSW


After a rough year, Lady Gaga says she relies on her own concept of beauty to remember comfort in her own skin. She is still as dedicated as always, but Lady Gaga admitted to what was behind her, and why she was needing comfort, and how it translated into performance art that she had painted on herself at SXSW, the South by Southwest music festival.

She vowed she would quit music before compromising. Adorned in her plastic sheeting gown and wearing blond dreadlocks Lady Gaga answered questions for the audience. They were all-inclusive, covering her hip surgery, her past manager, Troy Carter, and details about their parting. Her popularity was a favorite topic that was thoroughly covered.

Lady Gaga responded that she refused to be compromised “and allow my talents to be monetized to the point that I don’t want to be here anymore.” She reiterated to enforcing that she would walk away from the industry if it pushed her to do so. “I will retire from the commercial market if I have to do something other than be myself.” Refusing to go back on promises she made to friends that have been with her since the beginning, Gaga explained she has to be herself to stay honest. After 27 years of building she could not abandon that foundation by making it into “a total lie.”

“Then what?” She dismissed the money and the lifestyle, saying she could never quit being who she was. “I’ll be myself till they [expletive] close the coffin.”

Her four months in a wheelchair were discussed, along with the new additions to her hip, which has gained three metal screws, and how it forced the tours closing in 2013. ARTPOP, after release, sold 673,773 units. In 2011, Born This Way sold 1.1 million copies within the first week of release. SXSW was Lady Gaga’s chance to push the limits of her art back to a place she was comfortable with, and the vomit painting was how she fought out of the negative experiences of the year. She said that the albums under-performance was a personal low point which changed everyone’s actions around her at a time when she needed support.

Those around her began offering the solution of toning her imaged down and encouraged her to explore areas outside of her interests. She said it poisoned her, being pushed away from herself and her values. “’We want you to be beautiful,” was a comment she often heard so repeatedly, she searched to escape their influence. “I just wanted to look ugly all the time because I’m rebellious,” Gaga said. She explained she cannot be told what not to do, or she will make it happen. “That really crushed me.”

Reflecting on her own success could not make the scenario easier. The Grammys that she has won, the albums she has written, the traveling and touring the world four times, she was being told none of it was enough. “You’re telling me to be beautiful? That’s what this is all about?” she said referring to her body, asking if it was the sexual appeal that she had been reduced to. “That’s so sad.”

Lady Gaga has always been recognized for her looks, from drag to false teeth to removing her outfit onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards when she reduced her outfit to a seashell bra and a thong through her performance. Her rebellious tendencies have always been a part of her. Thursday was no different at Stubb’s BBQ, a corporate-sponsored concert. During her song Swine she fought back and became the ugliness she found comfortable with by bringing her friend Millie Brown, a performance artist, on stage to complete the act by vomiting on Lady Gaga. She was excited to watch the Internet debate break out as many shared their opinion of whether it would be considered art.

Opinion By Whitney Hudson


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