Lady Gaga gold wheelchair Terry Richardson

Gaga poses for Terry Richardson in NYC

You may have noticed an absence of Lady Gaga around these here pop culture parts–apparently the singer has been recovering from hip surgery. After suffering an inflammatory joint infection called “synovitis,” Gaga was forced to cancel the rest of the Born This Way tour–and pull back from the usual deluge of wacky editorials, red carpet stunts and general eccentric behavior.

Of course, you can’t keep Lady Gaga down for long–and you certainly can’t suppress her ravenous need to court the media with all her studied weirdness.

Hence, Gaga commissioned jewelry designer Ken Borochov (of Kanye West-approved label Mordekai) to design a custom 24-karat-gold-plated wheelchair. Because of excess or something? We don’t know. It’s probably some kind of cultural commentary.

The Daily Beast spoke with Borochov about the process:

“It was a huge undertaking,” Borochov told The Daily Beast of Gaga’s commission. He created the chair using manufacturers around the country, only finishing the gold and tufted leather masterpiece (complete with a removable canopy) on Sunday evening. “It was made all over the United States, my assistant had to run around everywhere,” Borochov explained. “I make all of my things here in the US.” In fact 1.5 ounces of gold were plated onto the chair “in Dallas at a customizing car factory that does hot rods and stuff. I wanted [the wheelchair] to look like a throne.” (In fact, the designer’s publicist says, the wheelchair was gold-plated in Dallas but actually assembled in Madison, WI at Regal Roadsters.)

According to current exchange rates, that’s $2,600 in gold alone.

(Gaga posed for several photos with Terry Richardson, one of which is above. See more of the chair proper at the Daily Beast)