All the body's a stage; we merely play upon it till someone kills the lights. Lady Gaga's time in the spotlight has already given us a dazzling array of make-believe bodies, some of which lurch toward uncomfortable truths. This pop omnivore, couture junkie and former Catholic schoolgirl is a walking showcase of reminders that we humans share one skin with tadpoles, death's heads and angels.
Martyrs are heroes of pain, celebrated by Gaga in this confection of dried-blood lace, saintly halo and Marilyn Monroe wig.
(Stephen Lovekin/2009 Getty Images)
The whimsy of the crowned hair-cloud and veil take a creepy turn when you notice the palsied hands and the lizard-scale tights.
(Larry Busacca/2009 Getty Images)
The boot and breastplate resemble extruded bones, more fish-like than human. The burning piano is both a stunt and a sign of Gaga’s raging immolation complex.
Singer Lady Gaga performs in Francesco Vezzoli's Ballets Russes Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again) during the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) New 30th anniversary gala in Los Angeles November 14, 2009.
Lady Gaga performs in Munich, July 16, 2009.
Lady GaGa at Madison Square Garden in New York, December 12, 2008.
(Scott Gries/2008 Getty Images)