Culture Shot: Lady Gaga an Art Thief?

Bring me the the head of a woman perched on a Plexiglass table!

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WHAT: French artist Orlan is suing Lady Gaga claiming that the opening scene in the “Born This Way” music video plagiarizes her 1996 sculpture “Femme Avec Tête.” Her complaint? Both works feature the head of a woman with a blonde bob and false facial implants perched on a Plexiglass table.

VERDICT: Puleeze. We’re all for individual artists defending and protecting their work, especially in a technology-driven era where the original creator’s vision–and his or her ability to monetize it–can be so easily trampled. But the line between homage and theft is awfully thin. Like here. When an artist borrows (or appropriates, if you wanna be all grad studenty about it) an idea then adds and modifies several crucial elements to make it their own, it aint theft. Good artists borrow. Great ones steal. Boring ones sue.

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