Whether acting, singing or choosing tattoos, Lady Gaga is always unique. Her eclectic collection of body art and tributes reflect her strength, personality, love of music, and care for those around her.
Gain insight into her ink choices and why Gaga chose them.
Like Marilyn Monroe, Norma Jean’s surrogate, Lady Gaga is a larger-than-life version of Stefani Germanotta. It’s fitting that she almost exclusively sports a tattoo on the left side of her body to symbolize Lady Gaga’s sides.
The following article dives into Lady Gaga’s body art for a deeper look at what makes one of the entertainment world’s coolest celebrities noticed.
How many tattoos does Lady Gaga have?
Lady Gaga doesn’t hesitate in any area of her life, including her approach to tattoos. She wears no less than 24 distinct designs, nearly all of which are engraved on the left side of her body.
She did her best to fulfill her father’s wish that she “keep the madness aside”. Although the amount of canvas left is limited to work with, Lady Gaga’s body art is slowly finding the right direction.
David Bowie’s Portrait
One of Lady Gaga’s only traditional tattoos is a touching tribute to the late David Bowie. Citing the fragile white Duke as her biggest inspiration, she was even chosen to perform a Grammy Award tribute to him after his death.
At the time of receiving the ink, she tweeted: “This is the image that changed my life.” It was an extremely appropriate choice for Gaga because the portrait she chose is the alternate self of the rock icon, Ziggy Stardust.
The piece itself is based on David Bowie as he appeared on the cover of his 1972 album Aladdin Sane. The original was visually striking: Bowie’s milky skin contrasted with bright red and blue lightning, soft red eyeshadow, and dark brown hair tinged with red.
Lady Gaga chose the entire piece to be rendered in elegant black and gray. The exclusion of color adds homage to the piece. When he closed his eyes, his face took on a tragic expression, matching the pain she felt for his passing.
Artist Mark Mahoney is famous for his single-hand style, black-gray, and fine lines. Characterizing a portrait is art in itself.
One of her rare right pieces, Gaga has a black ink trumpet carved into the inside of her biceps.
Always loved music, Lady Gaga’s first tattoo was a treble clef written under a fake ID at the age of 17. For those who don’t know; Treble clef is a symbol placed on each line of music to show the notes to be sung or played.
How does this relate to commissions, you ask?
As the years passed, Lady Gaga regretted putting on the ‘wandering stamp’ and decided to cover it up. She chose rose bushes in a black and gray outline style that extended from the treble key on the spine through the left side of the lower back and hips. This design was created by the legendary Kat Von D, whom Gaga chose for her feminine appliqué style.
Gaga continued in this direction with the addition of a single, single-line, single-stem rose that ran down her spine with the words “la vie en rose” on alternate sides.
“La Vie En Rose” is the song her character sings in “A Star Is Born” when she meets Bradley Cooper’s character. It was also the song she sang when he realized she was suitable for the role in real life. So it has special meaning for her.
Music note ink
The treble clef experience did not detract from her love for music. Gaga currently has a tattoo of musical notes and lines on the inside of her right forearm.
Unicorns born this way
Lady Gaga is a symbol of freedom of self-expression. She has no regrets about being herself and has many fans who love her for it, many of them from the LGBT community. This tattoo is her way of honoring those fans and celebrating her most popular album. The design itself is an absolute classic. It’s bold lines, monochrome accents of seawater with a Traditional American style banner that says “born this way”.
Lady Gaga’s tattoos generally lean towards minimalism – this work is no different. Without the black and gray shadows, the skin is filled mainly with negative space. The unicorn’s symbolism doubles as a message of uniqueness, cleverly complementing the words.
Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke
Gaga has a poet-like tattoo on her right inner bicep, written in German script. Words translated into:
“In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you will die if you are forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart, where its roots spread, the answer, and ask yourself, do I have to write?”
Grateful for fans, dad, friendship and strength
Lady Gaga’s left shoulder and upper back have the old fashioned ‘Dad in Heart’ inscription in memory of her father and three daisies. Just above is the handwritten text, Tokyo Love, engraved by Japanese modernist artist Noroyushi Araki.
Right below her father’s tattoo is a sex abuse survivor symbol. Gaga performs Oscar-nominated song she co-wrote for documentary Land of Predators on stage with a group of sexual abuse survivors and was moved to remember her experience with squid.
Gaga also has a great tribute to her fans. It is a manicured hand, covered with lace and beads forming a monster foot, the accepted symbol for membership of Gaga’s nest.
She also has a number of other fan-specific pieces, including a large piece that says ‘Mother Monster’ on her ribs and ‘Little Monsters’ on the inside of her left arm.
In memory of Joanne
Both Gaga and her father Joe pay tribute to their inspirational sister Joanne – written in her own handwriting – in memory. Joanne died at the age of 19. Gaga also has a tattoo commemorating Joanne’s death: December 18, 1974
Although rarely seen, Gaga has an ugly butt tattoo on the back of her head, engraved in black and gray tones.
In one of her other minimalist pieces, Gaga has a peace symbol – believed to be a tribute to John Lennon – tattooed on the inside of her left wrist.
Gaga has a very small tattoo of her Artpop album engraved on her left arm in the middle of the street.
Source: Lady Gaga’s Tattoos and What They Mean – [2022 Celebrity Ink Guide] – Tekmonk Bio, Lady Gaga’s Tattoos and What They Mean – [2022 Celebrity Ink Guide] – KOLNetworth, Lady Gaga’s Tattoos and What They Mean – [2022 Celebrity Ink Guide] – Blogtomoney