"[Gaga Stigmata has] very modern, edgy photography to free flowing, urban narratives without censure to analytical essays, et cetera—like Gaga, imagination without ... limits. And the beauty is that anyone can submit work to the site, so artists and writers from all over the [world] have joined this experiment." -The Declaration.org

"Since March 2010, [Gaga Stigmata] has churned out the most intense ongoing critical conversation on [Lady Gaga]."
-Yale's The American Scholar

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Luke Buckett's "Must Be Luv," with Kate Durbin

Gaga Stigmata’s founding editor, Kate Durbin, recently directed and co-starred in her husband Luke Buckett’s music video, “Must Be Luv.”

Meghan Vicks + Eddie McCaffray
This is what “luv” is. When you look at a famous couple, you see your own luv story in theirs. You see “u” in luv. You see u in Yoko and John peacing out in bed, in Elvis and Patricia pigging out in the kitchen, in Johnny and June hanging out on the couch, and in Kate and Luke heading to Vegas to get hitched. It must be luv when the entire world reflects your own luv story. We watch “Must Be Luv,” and see ourselves. That’s how we know.

Alexander Cavaluzzo
“Must Be Luv” skewers the iconography of American pop culture and blends it all together into a unique aesthetic vision. High quality kitsch and stunning camp fuse together to tell a truly American luv story.

Becca Klaver
For all those wondering if Kate Durbin is really made of rainbow sprinkles, cubic zirconia, and Gumby clay, the video for Luke Buckett’s summer anthem, “Must Be Luv,” confirms that, indeed, she is. Watch it with your 3D glasses on, with your Lennon shades, with your best Ono dress. Await the shearing. Our fave poet-provocateur adds one more notch to her dayglo belt, one more hyphen to her repertoire. If you follow Kate’s work, you may have found yourself wondering, How could she be posting, blogging, tumbling, and tweeting ‘round the clock while at the same time writing poems, editing books, plotting performances, and directing and starring in a music video? How many people is she? The answer is right here in “Must Be Luv”: sit in front of your laptop in the video. Aha! I once threw Kate a birthday party and the exact same thing happened: realities proliferate wherever she pops up, and she knows, too, that reality bites. Kate Durbin is a real girl. Never too real, but always too too too too, pirouetting through our feeds, tumbling onto her fine, felt-lettered ass. 

Meghan Blalock
To me, Kate Durbin has always been and remains a true individual; she inspires me because I have always largely felt like a freak and an outcast throughout my life, rarely understood and like a total loner. It takes balls to do what she does – to dare to be fully herself, to do what she wants to do, to do what moves her and inspires her – and I find this latest project with her husband to be all the more inspiring, because it shows through vignettes of various famous couples throughout rock ‘n roll history that the “freaks” of society often have the truest love stories, and that by being unapologetically oneself one can attract into one’s life the right partner. They stand side by side and move forward together, inspiring each other and everyone else with unbridled, unconditional love.

Victor P Corona
Much like Beehive Kate’s rainbow lollipop, the video is a lovely and colorful swirl of camp, pop, and Americana. Looking forward to the next song and video!

Carina Finn
Kate Durbin wears wigs & they are totes sincere.
Kate Durbin is Kate Durbin’s Celebrity Stylist.
Kate Durbin is a milkshake.
Kate Durbin is a sex on a vinyl-covered backseat of an older Camaro with orange soda spilled on it so it’s already sticky.
Kate Durbin is America.
Kate Durbin is the girl from that Genet play, The Screens.
Kate Durbin is The Today Show.
Kate Durbin is a video game.
Kate Durbin is cutoff star-stenciled lavender acid-washed daisy dukes.
Kate Durbin has a whole bunch of hearts & is not afraid to use them.

Laurence Ross
While there is always some degree of separateness in our togetherness, “Must be Luv” exists in a realm where the latter is even more challenged by the former. A realm where Double Gulps contain only enough soda for one. Where on the couch, instead of the shared vision of a television set, attention is split between laptop and bible. Where one has a cell phone and one has a dial tone. Where there is background and foreground. Though, in spite of the separateness, “Must be Luv” suggests that togetherness/exchange/ communication is possible with – well, with some type of glue. Stickers and gumballs. Magnets. That peanut butter can hold together bananas and bacon for the sake of a sandwich. That lovers can be formed/fused to togetherness like Sugar Babies and teeth. Because, out of necessity, in this world, in our world, this sort of love (luv) is sticky.


  1. ohhh i am too late Kate, but I say this:

    What I love about the representation of love or luv in Must Be Luv is how mundane it is--how each couple in the video has developed its own aesthetic, but the ways each interacts is more or less the same. Love in this video is not explosive or earth-shattering and it's not some mystical supercommunion. Each couple hangs out together while engaging privately with their own stuff, and then convenes to rock out together sometimes. Love in this video is accessible, uplifting, and familiar-yet-wonderful--much like the song itself!

    <3 Sam Cohen

  2. oh i love this, love letters to kate. perfect. sam, yes, you are spot on. also i can't help feeling the synchronicity of the world as carina writes that kate is the girl from genet's 'the screens', and i heard some folks perform music from the film version just last night, having not heard of it before. so it must be true. xoxox