In the last decade, Lady Gaga has established herself not only as one of the biggest pop stars in the world but as one of the most creative. Whether it’s her controversial performances, outfits, or interviews, this avant-garde artist holds no prisoners when it comes to her creative vision. Between this and her proven talent as a performer, dancer and actress – this triple threat has some of the kookiest music videos in the book. Here we take a deep dive into the star’s most impressive visual works of art.
Poker Face (2008)
Lady Gaga’s sophomore single ‘Poker Face’ is one of her most memorable videos for fans, and is where she claimed her signature platinum blonde hair and bangs. Shot at a mansion with pools and dancers, this track may be more mainstream than its successors but it still has Lady Gaga written all over it. From the disco ball mask, a bow made from her own hair, and emerging from a pool between two Great Danes – ‘Poker Face’ saw Gaga starting to establish herself as an expressionist artist.
One of her earliest music videos, ‘Paparazzi’ was Lady Gaga’s first mini-movie and serves as a prequel to the legendary ‘Telephone’. It tells the story of Gaga and her lover played by Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard who makes the mistake of trying to murder her. The seven-minute masterpiece explores ‘hyperbolic situations that people will go to in order to be famous’, Gaga explained and is an unsettling video to watch.
Bad Romance (2009)
Perhaps one of Gaga’s most iconic music videos clocking in at over one billion views on YouTube, ‘Bad Romance’ was Gaga showing the world just how avant-garde her creative vision was. As she dances and seduces her way out of the capture of the Russian Mob, ‘Bad Romances’ boasts amazing choreography and show-stopping outfits (such as the gun bra and alien shoes) that contrasts with the disturbingly sterile setting. Revolutionary at the time and today still, ‘Bad Romance’ will be remembered as one of the most memorable music videos of the 2010s.
Telephone (with Beyoncé) (2010)
This music video picks up where ‘Paparazzi’ left off, with Gaga in jail before Queen Bee bails her out. From there, the all-American power duo starts poisoning diner guests before jumping on the road and escaping the law. ‘Telephone’ is one of Gaga’s most fun Tarantino-esque music videos, fuelled by high octane energy brought by two of the biggest pop stars in the world.
Born This Way (2011)
One of her most memorable videos, ‘Born This Way’ clocks in at seven minutes and stars Gaga-Esque motifs of birth, aliens, demons, zombies, and more. This music video is closer to a short film with many moving parts and a detailed storyline, but ultimately this identity affirming anthem is promoting the song’s message of self-acceptance.
You & I (2011)
By now, Gaga was known for her unique artistic expression, and ‘You And I’ is a true testament to this – only Lady Gaga could make a music video like this. While there’s a lot to it, ‘You & I’ ultimately revolves around a mad scientist who transforms Lady Gaga into a mermaid. But to say it’s just that wouldn’t be doing it justice – this music video is a piece of art in itself.
Marry The Night (2011)
Lady Gaga’s official directing debut did not come to play. This fourteen-minute mini-video is an autobiographical short film described by Gaga as “moments from my past I have yet to reveal”, and depicts ‘the worst day of her life’ when she was dropped by her label in 2006, and details her rise to fame following this as a reinvented pop star. Never short of artistic references, there are nods to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Madonna’s early work, and French cinema. Often overlooked, ‘Marry The Night’ is some of Gaga’s best work, summarising the video as an “insight into my entire creative process and the way that I view things”.
At the peak of her stardom, ‘Applause’ is an ode to all of her devoted fans, aka ‘Little Monsters’. The music video artistically recreates her evolution as an artist with clear inspiration derived from German Expressionism and Andy Warhol. Full of visually striking shots and outfits, of the weirder moments on this music video worth noting is Lady Gaga’s head on a swan’s body.
G.U.Y (An ARTPOP Film) (2014)
The music video is a four in one deal, featuring ARTPOP tracks ‘ARTPOP’, ‘Venus’, Manicure, and ‘G.U.Y.’ which means it clocks in at twelve minutes long. Directed by Gaga again, this ARTPOP track is the queen in full swing. With elaborate costumes, unabridged sexuality, sets, choreographed dancing, and more ‘G.U.Y.’ has it all. What you may not expect from this feminist anthem though is the cameo from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Andy Cohen’s face in the clouds, or someone playing Minecraft – all shot at the extravagant Hearst Castle.
Rain On Me (with Ariana Grande) (2020)
On one of the most anticipated collaborations of the decade, ‘Rain On Me’ is all about self-purification, healing, and moving past trauma – something both Grande & Gaga are familiar with. This electro-pop track gets the Chromatica style sci-fi treatment on the post-apocalyptic music video as the two stars dance their hearts out in the rain donning futuristic plastic & leather/pink & lilac fits made of cyberpunk dreams.