Lady Gaga is bringing art and music together again on her latest album Artpop by collaborating with artists like Jeff Koons (who provided art for the album cover – a nude sculpture of Lady Gaga) and Millie Brown, the performance artist who vomited on Lady Gaga during a show at SXSW (and infuriating lots of people concerned with bulimia while making her art). Lady Gaga’s current tour – ArtRave: The Artpop Ball Tour – will undoubtedly feature more performance-based spectacles to reflect her artistic, rebellious spirit. Her Midwestern fans – her “little monsters” – can’t wait to see what she has planned for Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival (since 1999 according to the Guinness World Records). Held in Milwaukee over 11 days, across 11 stages, attracting nearly 1 million musicophiles, she’ll have to compete with Bruno Mars, Outkast, Fall Out Boy, and Motley Crue with very special guest (her hero) Alice Cooper.
Also to see this summer in Milwaukee is the Kandinsky retrospective at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Kandinsky was a big music buff. After attending a concert in a hotel ballroom in Munich in 1911, he “painted” it the next day. He also used musical terms to identify his works; he called his most spontaneous paintings “improvisations” and described more elaborate works as “compositions.” He aimed to create a “pure painting” that would provide the same emotional power as a musical composition. It’s fun to consider what Kandinsky might have painted after hearing Lady Gaga’s Artpop song Applause, with a tempo of 140 beats per minute, and vocals covering nearly two and a half octaves.