Lady Gaga is going minimalist -- well, with her body, at least. The pop superstar, 27, talks up her album ARTPOP in the September issue of V Magazine, which features four different covers, all shot by photographers Inez and Vinoodh. Us Weekly has the exclusive first look at one of those covers, with the "Applause" singer sporting New Wave style short blonde hair, 80s-inspired makeup and a futurist, high-gloss purple top. Inside the mag -- in another Us first look -- Gaga wears just tiny black thong underwear in two topless, near-naked shots.
The images prove that the Grammy winner has shed all of the excess weight gained (and much-discussed) last year: In the somewhat shocking snaps, she flaunts a concave stomach and noticeably bony back. Gaga speaks in depth about her new album, her recovery from hip surgery and her craft inside V magazine with art world provocateur Marina Abramovic.
Her daily routine and creative process, Gaga says, does not involve breakfast. "I don't eat breakfast," she says. "I drink Pellegrino, I'm a good Italian girl. I have Pellegrino with lime and a smoke. And I just lie there. Sometimes maybe green tea. I just sit there and look at everything. I get mad at the work, I get frustrated, I start getting really sweaty. I have a very emotional experience when I'm creating."
Of collaborating with Inez and Vinoodh on the arresting shots, she explains: "You have to stare at the image, you have to stare at the work. You have to have an intense connection with it all the way to its core, and then push, push, push yourself and then say Okay, and you have that instant adrenaline feeling of Let's go."
She continues with typical intensity: "I have an ability to endure physical and mental pain for long durations, months or years at a time, but I've learned eventually that the brunt of that anguish finds its point and impact, and although I was able to withstand the challenge for that period of time, the results are destructive and I'm left a shell."
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Working with the photographers, she says: "I'm reminded that my sense of self within the world I create provides an element of honesty and gravity to the work and it’s okay that I'm broken."