Orlan Must Pay Lady Gaga $22,000 After Losing Forgery Lawsuit

The artist will appeal the decision.

Orlan. Photo courtesy Orlan.
Orlan. Photo courtesy Orlan.

A forgery suit by French artist Orlan against pop star Lady Gaga has backfired.

On July 7, a Paris court shot down the artist’s complaint, ruling that she must pay the pop singer and her record label some €20,000 ($22,000), reports Le Journal des Arts.

However, the artist is not giving up on the suit just yet. “Nothing has played itself out, since I have filed an appeal,” Orlan told artnet News via email before referring further questions to her attorney.

Lady Gaga at the 88th Annual Academy Awards, 2016. Photo David Crotty/Patrick McMullan.

Lady Gaga at the 88th Annual Academy Awards, 2016. Photo David Crotty/Patrick McMullan.

Orlan and her lawyers saw extensive similarities between two of the artist’s works and imagery in Gaga’s video from her 2011 album, Born This Way.

In a 2013 interview with Artinfo, her attorney, Philippe Dutilleul-Francoeur, claimed that not only did Gaga copy Orlan’s look, but rather that she actually forged her works. (Dutilleul-Francoeur did not immediately respond to artnet News’ request for comment on the judgment.)

They claimed Gaga ripped off Orlan’s Bumpload (1989), in which her face is altered with prosthetics to create disturbing ridges on the cheeks and forehead, and Woman With Head (1996), which features a decapitated woman’s head on a table, which they say was copied in the video for the song.

Orlan had requested $31.7 million from the singer, a figure which represented 7.5 percent of the profits generated by the album, which sold 2.3 million copies.

Earlier this year, Orlan took up the case in the US. In January, her New York lawyers, Peter Stern and Alan Sash of McLaughlin & Stern, filed to depose fashion director Nicola Formichetti and make-up artist Billy Brasfield—the creative team behind the video, in Manhattan federal court. Sash declined to comment in a phone call with artnet News, referring questions to Dutilleul-Francoeur.


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