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18 Reasons You Should Stop Making Fun Of Lady Gaga's "Artpop"

To the haters out there who think Artpop was trash: Hold my drink.

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Our Lord and Savior Godga did not forsake us when she released Artpop. In fact, she birthed a piece of celestial magic condensed into an artistic masterpiece that will spark dialogue among art and music historians for decades to come.

Don't believe me? Read on.

1. Artpop was a project, not just an album.

Streamline / Interscope

Before becoming famous, Gaga went to NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where she reportedly wrote a thesis on Spencer Tunick and Damien Hirst, two modern artists whose works reference popular culture. Gaga was always fascinated by the marriage of art and pop culture, and Artpop was her tribute to that marriage.

2. The ArtRave launch party was a huge artistic and logistical feat.

Brad Barket / Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

To celebrate the release of Artpop, Gaga threw a rave in Brooklyn, NY, complete with a flying dress and exhibitions by artists Inez & Vinoodh, Marina Abramovic, and Jeff Koons (they're kind of a big deal). It cost around $3 million to execute, and Gaga did it without a brand sponsor.

3. During the Artpop era, Gaga flexed her art history muscles, referencing Renaissance-era art and Greco-Roman classicism.

Streamline / Interscope, Sandro Botticelli, "Birth of Venus"

Here she is serving some ~sickening~ Botticelli realness.

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4. Artpop was meant to leave a lasting mark on how pop culture and the art world interact, but it was widely misinterpreted and unfairly stacked up against other pop albums that weren't even comparable.

VH1

Artpop was released around the same time as Miley's Bangerz, Katy's Prism, and Beyoncé's bombshell self-entitled album. These albums weren't necessarily better or worse than Artpop, but the goal of these albums was ENTIRELY different from Gaga's.

5. Jeff Koons designed the Artpop album cover, a collage of Bernini's Apollo and Daphne, Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, and Koons' own Gazing Ball, another example of pop culture meshing with art.

Streamline / Interscope, Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

The collage references Apollo, god of music, and Venus, goddess of beauty, while the ball symbolizes reflection and transcendence. That's some high art shit.

6. Gaga pushed sexual boundaries yet again with the power anthem for all power-bottoms: "G.U.Y."

Streamline / Interscope

"I don’t need to be on top to know I’m worth it, 'cause I'm strong enough to know the truth."

Gaga has always been cutting-edge. Who else was making songs about bottoming in 2013? Go on, I'll wait.

7. Speaking of "G.U.Y.," remember the visually stunning, thematically complex, groundbreaking "G.U.Y." music video?

Streamline / Interscope

Gaga didn't shy away from anti-capitalist symbolism and provocative imagery in this cinematic masterpiece.

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8. The people who said Artpop was a bad album must've seriously been sleeping on this video. So many iconic moments, like when Gaga brought John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Gandhi, and Jesus back from the dead.

9. And then used their DNA to make an army of clones to overthrow powerful executives, a metaphor for how she shaped the media landscape to create a market for her music, rather than adjusting to the market.

10. Oh, and the cameos. Like when Andy Cohen appeared out of the sky as Zeus, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills low-key showed up as Gaga's backup band.

Streamline / Interscope

See the harp? The Greco-Roman facade? Zeus? Pop culture blended with classic imagery from the roots of Western civilization? Get it?

11. With "Donatella," Gaga made a feminist social critique, arguing that you can be feminine and extravagant, while also being a multifaceted, intelligent HBIC.

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12. Gaga jam-packed the "Applause" music video with cultural references, like this homage to Alexander McQueen and the Greek myth of Icarus.

Streamline / Interscope, Jacob Peter Gowy, "The Fall of Icarus", Pierre Verdy / AFP / Getty Images

McQueen was a friend and inspiration of Gaga's who died a few years before Artpop was released.

13. And her "Applause" video black skullcap look wasn't just meant to be artsy and chic — it's a reference to the character of Death in Ingmar Bergman's 1957 film The Seventh Seal, and the cultural archetype of the "jester."

Streamline / Interscope, AB Svensk Filmindustri, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Much of Gaga's discography incorporates the theme of death and rebirth. And, this isn't the first time she's alluded to herself as a jester.

14. There are also a TON of references to this artistic movement from the early 1900s called German Expressionism.

Streamline / Interscope, UFA, Hulton Archive / Getty Images

German Expressionist cinema was all about duality, subconscious fears, and the struggle between light and dark. That shit is right up Gaga's alley.

15. But Artpop isn't just obscure references and metaphors. Case in point: that one bomb-ass song about hooking up with someone while thinking about someone else.

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16. With Artpop, Gaga basically said "fuck you" to the music industry — but always kept her fans in mind.

HBO

It's not easy to step outside the box and take huge risks, especially in an industry dominated by convention and driven by numbers. Gaga's goal with Artpop wasn't to own the charts and make a ton of money — by 2013, she had already proven she could do that. But, as weird as Artpop got, it always had her die-hard supporters in mind.

17. So, actually, the Artpop era was just one big performance.

CBS

Executing the concept behind Artpop was an almost impossible, even laughable goal. But Gaga has never shied away from being laughed at, or attempting the impossible, or exaggerating her life, persona, and work to performative extremes. And that is how Artpop will be remembered — a performance of the pop star desperate for self-awareness, desperate to be something more than just pop, begging the question as to whether that's even possible.

CORRECTION

Mahatma Gandhi's name was misspelled in an earlier version of this post.