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Madonna and contemporary arts

From Wikipedia, in a visual modern way
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Conceptual video, "Bedtime Story" (1995) briefly the most expensive music video in history, shows references of numerous surrealists.[152]
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From left to right: an oil painting of Madonna, c. 2001, and observers contemplating one of Javier Restrepo's Madonnas on display at a 2012 exhibition
From left to right: an oil painting of Madonna, c. 2001, and observers contemplating one of Javier Restrepo's Madonnas on display at a 2012 exhibition
From left to right: an oil painting of Madonna, c. 2001, and observers contemplating one of Javier Restrepo's Madonnas on display at a 2012 exhibition

The contributions and influence of American artist Madonna (born 1958) in the landscape of underground and contemporary arts have been documented by a variety of sources such as art publications, scholars and art critics. As her footprints in the arts are lesser-known compared to her other roles, this led a contributor from W to conclude that both her impact and influence in the art world have been "made almost entirely behind the scenes". She is noted for taking inspiration from various painters in her career. Once called a "continuous multi-media art project", a panel of art critics explained that she condenses fashion, dance, photography, sculpture, music, video and painting in her own artwork.

Madonna's interest in the arts began in her early life. When she moved to New York City to pursue a career in modern dance, she befriended and dated various plastic artists, including Andy Warhol, Martin Burgoyne, Keith Haring and her boyfriend Jean-Michel Basquiat. Around that time, Madonna's graffiti tag was "Boy Toy", which later used in her professional career, and immortalized their friendship in the song "Graffiti Heart".

Madonna is an art collector, included among Art & Antiques' 100 Biggest Collectors. She has been also known as an "art supporter" and has used art for charity. In 2001, Madonna lent her Self-Portrait with Monkey by Frida Kahlo at the Tate Modern, which was the first British exhibition dedicated to Kahlo. Madonna sponsored various art exhibitions of contemporary artists such as Basquiat, Cindy Sherman and Tina Modotti. Her other activities include to co-initiate "Art for Freedom" in 2012, runs the artistic installation X-STaTIC Pro=CeSS (2003) and create the NFT digital artworks, "Mother of Creation" along with Mike Winkelmann ("Beeple") in 2022.

Throughout her career, her visuals and style have attracted both celebratory and derogatory commentaries. Late-twentieth-century views on Madonna were a constant amid low and high culture, with some labeling her a modernist. By the next century, Dahlia Schweitzer said that many critics have long resisted using the words "Madonna" and "artistic" in the same sentence, while for supporters like art historian Kyra Belán, Madonna is a "symbol for female achievement" in different art forms. Called a contemporary gesamtkunstwerk and the art-pop queen, American performing artist David Blaine said that perhaps she "is herself her own greatest work of art—something so vastly influential as to be unfathomable". Her influence has been noted in various contemporary artists including Mateo Blanco, Trisha Baga and Pegasus. Various artists have depicted Madonna either once or multiple times, including Peter Howson, Andrew Logan, Sebastian Krüger and Al Hirschfeld. Madonna's likeness and some of her own works have also been displayed in art and galleries exhibitions around the world, including the video of "Bedtime Story", which became part of Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.

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Contemporary art

Contemporary art

Contemporary art is the art of today, produced in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century. Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Their art is a dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that continue the challenging of boundaries that was already well underway in the 20th century. Diverse and eclectic, contemporary art as a whole is distinguished by the very lack of a uniform, organising principle, ideology, or "-ism". Contemporary art is part of a cultural dialogue that concerns larger contextual frameworks such as personal and cultural identity, family, community, and nationality.

Art critic

Art critic

An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art criticism and they are published in newspapers, magazines, books, exhibition brochures, and catalogues and on websites. Some of today's art critics use art blogs and other online platforms in order to connect with a wider audience and expand debate about art.

Art world

Art world

The art world comprises everyone involved in producing, commissioning, presenting, preserving, promoting, chronicling, criticizing, buying and selling fine art. It is recognized that there are many art worlds, defined either by location or alternative definitions of fine art. Some may use the singular art world to refer only to the elite level of globalized fine art. The art world(s) are continually changing in response both to the creativity of those that create art and in response to social change.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was an American visual artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best-known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell's Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental films Empire (1964) and Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67).

Art & Antiques

Art & Antiques

Art & Antiques is an American arts magazine.

Art for charity

Art for charity

Art for charity is the practice of using art in some way to serve charitable causes. Artists may produce works specifically to be sold for charity or creators or owners of artistic works might donate all or part of the proceeds of sale to a good cause. Such sales are often conducted by auction. Investors look at both auctions and donations to art-related charities when considering philanthropy opportunities. Alternatively, works may be exhibited with ticket sales being donated. Such exhibitions sometimes incorporate art related to or by those who benefit from the charitable donations.

Art exhibition

Art exhibition

An art exhibition is traditionally the space in which art objects meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" or "show". In UK English, they are always called "exhibitions" or "shows", and an individual item in the show is an "exhibit".

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

Cynthia Morris Sherman is an American artist whose work consists primarily of photographic self-portraits, depicting herself in many different contexts and as various imagined characters.

Dahlia Schweitzer

Dahlia Schweitzer

Dahlia Schweitzer is a pop culture critic and writer. She is an associate professor in the film and media department at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is the author of various books and articles on film, television, music, gender, and identity.

Andrew Logan (sculptor)

Andrew Logan (sculptor)

Andrew Logan is an English sculptor, performance artist, jewellery-maker, and portraitist.

Al Hirschfeld

Al Hirschfeld

Albert Hirschfeld was an American caricaturist best known for his black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars.

Bedtime Story (Madonna song)

Bedtime Story (Madonna song)

"Bedtime Story" is a song by American singer Madonna from her sixth studio album, Bedtime Stories (1994). It was released as the third single from the album on February 13, 1995, by Maverick Records. The song was written by Björk, Nellee Hooper and Marius De Vries; it was the only time Björk wrote a song for a Madonna album. She re-wrote a demo of the song to the current version, which was then produced by Madonna and Hooper. A mid-tempo electronic and house song with acid, ambient and techno influences, "Bedtime Story" has an underlying skeletal synth melody influenced by minimal trance music. The track's unconventional, electronic sound was a departure from the pop-R&B-based tracks throughout the rest of the album. Lyrically, the song talks about the joys of the unconscious world.

Background

Early life: formative years

The story of Madonna's origins as an artist is as important as the music itself in understanding the impact she's had on bringing the underground into the mainstream.

—Malina Bickford of Vice (2014).[1]

Madonna's background with the arts, and how it influenced her future career, have been documented. In a conversation with curator Vince Aletti, the singer said that her interest in art started as a child because several members of her family could paint and draw, but she couldn't: "I was living vicariously through them", said.[2] She visited the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is how she found out about Frida Kahlo and started reading about her.[2] Madonna also mentioned her Catholic education, saying "there's art everywhere" in the churches, "so you get introduced to it that way".[2]

From early on, Madonna's father encouraged his children to take classes related to art disciplines. He wanted her to take piano lessons, which she tried. While music was on her agenda, the piano wasn't.[3] Madonna had a friend who was taking ballet lessons, and she talked her father into letting her take ballet instead of piano.[3] For Madonna, dance was a gateway for discovery in other arts in which she has maintained a lifelong interest.[4] She studied in the performing arts school dance, music theory and art history. She also took a Shakespearean course.[5]

In Rochester School of Ballet, she met its instructor Christopher Flynn, who took a special interest in helping her succeed.[3] Flynn took it upon himself to become her mentor, impressed by her talent and ambition, exposing her to Detroit's museums, operas, concerts, art galleries, and fashion shows.[4][6] Her tastes broadened to include classical music, Pre-Raphaelite painters, and poets.[4]

Arrival at New York City: late-1970s

Madonna pursued a career in modern dance, moving to New York City in the late 1970s. She attended numerous museums for free,[2] and worked as an art nude model in art schools.[7] This brought her into contact with painters and photographers. Madonna declared: "People painted me all the time".[8] She briefly took classes of photography, painting and drawing.[9]

Personal relationships

A scene from Madonna & Basquiat, an episode of Sky Arts' Urban Myths based on their relationship[10]
A scene from Madonna & Basquiat, an episode of Sky Arts' Urban Myths based on their relationship[10]

Shortly after her arrival in New York, outlet Contemporary Art explained that Madonna made her first connection with the local art scene in clubs located in the Lower East Side and SoHo, including Danceteria, The Limelight, The Roxy, Funhouse, Mudd Club and the Paradise Garage, frequented by School of Visual Arts artists and others.[11] She befriended various painters, graffiti and visual artists such as Keith Haring, Futura 2000, Fab Five Freddy and Daze.[12][13] In 1979, she met graffiti artist Norris Burroughs, with whom she had a brief relationship.[12]

Artist Martin Burgoyne, was her roommate on the Lower East Side, and became her best friend.[14] In an interview with Austin Scaggs, she said that a roommate introduced her to Haring, but she was already aware of his art.[13] Her then boyfriend Jean-Michel Basquiat, introduced Madonna to Andy Warhol, Glenn O'Brien, and Larry Gagosian.[13] Gagosian recalled that Basquiat said, "She'll be the biggest pop star in the world".[15] O'Brien later edited Madonna's 1992 Sex book and worked with her on The Girlie Show World Tour book in 1993.[16][17] Madonna met Darlene Lutz through O'Brien, who became her personal art advisor from 1983 to 2004.[18][19]

In an interview with illusionist David Blaine in 2014, Madonna talked about the close relationship she had with Burgoyne, Haring and Basquiat, as they hung out together with Warhol joining them sometimes.[14] She further adds: "We found each other, and we connected to each other [...] They supported my shows. I supported their shows. We were a unit. And I don't even know how it happened. It just did".[13] She wrote an article for The Guardian in 1996, discussing her relationship with Basquiat,[20] and wrote about her friendship with Haring in Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography (1992) by art critic John Gruen.[21] Madonna further immortalized their friendship in the song "Graffiti Heart" from her 2015 album, Rebel Heart.[22] Madonna is also mentioned in Warhol's diary The Andy Warhol Diaries.[23] In 2019, Sky Arts' Urban Myths dedicated an episode, Madonna & Basquiat to their relationship.[10]

During the spent time with her graffiti artist friends in New York, she used the graffiti tag "Boy Toy", making her own graffiti in walks, subways or sidewalks.[13] The moniker referred to one of her boyfriends, RP3, a subway scratchitti artist who also used the tag and gave it to her.[24][25][26] She later used it as the name of her copyright company, as well as a belt buckle of her dress worn for her Like a Virgin-era.[22] Art critic Hilton Kramer commented about Madonna and Cindy Sherman: "As for their relationship, I think they eminently deserve each other".[9]

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Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), located in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, has one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. With over 100 galleries, it covers 658,000 square feet (61,100 m2) with a major renovation and expansion project completed in 2007 that added 58,000 square feet (5,400 m2). The DIA collection is regarded as among the top six museums in the United States with an encyclopedic collection which spans the globe from ancient Egyptian and European works to contemporary art. Its art collection is valued in billions of dollars, up to $8.1 billion USD according to a 2014 appraisal. The DIA campus is located in Detroit's Cultural Center Historic District, about 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the downtown area, across from the Detroit Public Library near Wayne State University.

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. Inspired by the country's popular culture, she employed a naïve folk art style to explore questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race in Mexican society. Her paintings often had strong autobiographical elements and mixed realism with fantasy. In addition to belonging to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement, which sought to define a Mexican identity, Kahlo has been described as a surrealist or magical realist. She is known for painting about her experience of chronic pain.

Piano

Piano

The piano is a stringed keyboard instrument in which the strings are struck by wooden hammers that are coated with a softer material. It is played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings. It was invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700.

Ballet

Ballet

Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread and highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary. Ballet has been influential globally and has defined the foundational techniques which are used in many other dance genres and cultures. Various schools around the world have incorporated their own cultures. As a result, ballet has evolved in distinct ways.

Art history

Art history

Art history is the study of aesthetic objects and visual expression in historical and stylistic context. Traditionally, the discipline of art history emphasized painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, ceramics and decorative arts; yet today, art history examines broader aspects of visual culture, including the various visual and conceptual outcomes related to an ever-evolving definition of art. Art history encompasses the study of objects created by different cultures around the world and throughout history that convey meaning, importance or serve usefulness primarily through visual representations.

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets, and art critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner who formed a seven-member "Brotherhood" modelled in part on the Nazarene movement. The Brotherhood was only ever a loose association and their principles were shared by other artists of the time, including Ford Madox Brown, Arthur Hughes and Marie Spartali Stillman. Later followers of the principles of the Brotherhood included Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and John William Waterhouse.

Modern dance

Modern dance

Modern dance is a broad genre of western concert or theatrical dance which included dance styles such as ballet, folk, ethnic, religious, and social dancing; and primarily arose out of Europe and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was considered to have been developed as a rejection of, or rebellion against, classical ballet, and also a way to express social concerns like socioeconomic and cultural factors.

Model (art)

Model (art)

An art model poses, often nude, for visual artists as part of the creative process, providing a reference for the human body in a work of art. As an occupation, modeling requires the often strenuous 'physical work' of holding poses for the required length of time, the 'aesthetic work' of performing a variety of interesting poses, and the 'emotional work' of maintaining a socially ambiguous role. While the role of nude models is well-established as a necessary part of artistic practice, public nudity remains transgressive, and models may be vulnerable to stigmatization or exploitation. Artists may also have family and friends pose for them, in particular for works with costumed figures.

Art school

Art school

An art school is an educational institution with a primary focus on the visual arts, including fine art – especially illustration, painting, photography, sculpture, and graphic design. Art schools can offer elementary, secondary, post-secondary, or undergraduate programs, and can also offer a broad-based range of programs. There have been six major periods of art school curricula, and each one has had its own hand in developing modern institutions worldwide throughout all levels of education. Art schools also teach a variety of non-academic skills to many students.

Sky Arts

Sky Arts

Sky Arts is a British free-to-air television channel offering 24 hours a day of programmes dedicated to highbrow arts, including theatrical performances, films, documentaries and music. The channel is available in the United Kingdom trough Freeview, Freesat, BT TV, Sky, Virgin Media, and TalkTalk TV and in the Republic of Ireland via Sky Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Vodafone Ireland and eir, included in most basic subscription packs, but started life as a premium service requiring an additional payment on top of the monthly Sky subscription. The channel launched on Freeview and Freesat as a free-to-air service in September 2020.

Lower East Side

Lower East Side

The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a historic neighborhood in the southeastern part of Manhattan in New York City. It is located roughly between the Bowery and the East River from Canal to Houston streets.

Danceteria

Danceteria

Danceteria was a nightclub that operated in New York City from 1979 until 1986 and in the Hamptons until 1995. The club operated in various locations over the years, a total of three in New York City and four in the Hamptons. The most famous location was likely the second, a four-floor venue at 30 West 21st Street in Manhattan that served as the location for the disco scene in the film Desperately Seeking Susan.

Implementation and influence in her work

[Madonna is] perhaps one of the most visually savvy humans on earth.

—David Schonauer, editor-in-chief of American Photo (2000).[27]

Considered a visual artist and performer, Canadian professor Karlene Faith once echoed "her abundant talent as a visual artist".[28] Thomas Harrison, from the University of Central Florida, recognized various female artists before Madonna, but he felt she "took it to a whole other level" always embracing the visual aspects.[29] The Irish Times staffers even regarded Madonna as "the first female pop star to fully engage with the visual elements of her art".[30]

Her visual style was once often described as pop art. Martha Bayles, said she cultivated a "heavy-duty pop art image".[31] Editor Paul Flynn called her "a pop artist in the Warholian sense of the word",[32] while John R. May, from Louisiana State University said she was "probably Andy Warhol's dream come to life".[33] May further describes her as a "successful piece of pop art" and as "a splendor formae of aesthetic".[33] In Pastiche: Cultural Memory in Art, Film, Literature (2001), Ingeborg Hoesterey from Indiana University, asserts:

Madonna came from the beginning very much from the plastic arts. When she splashed onto the music scene, she did so by quoting the kitsch of devotional Virgin artifacts that (Mexican) figurative painters critiqued in the seventies.[34]

Madonna's knowledge of the arts was also commented on. Richard R. Burt cites a reporter who saw her as an "astute if untrained art critic".[35] In 2019, Donatella Versace wrote for L'Officiel, Madonna is "informed" and culturally aware enough to hold her own on subjects ranging from music to art.[36] Los Angeles Times critic Patrick Goldstein once commented about her attendance at "Degenerate Art" (1991) held in Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "she's savvy enough" but her "interests are largely visual".[37] Madonna herself, declared that her primarily interest in art are "suffering, and irony and a certain bizarre sense of humour".[9] She was also described a "knowledgeable about photography", according to British art historian John A. Walker.[9] Photography critic Vince Aletti even commented her works "are filled with knowledgeable photographic references".[38] In his Madonna biography, Andrew Morton commented that her "stunning visual sense" is no accident; Madonna has spent a lifetime studying photographs, black-and-white movies and paintings.[39]

Influences for Madonna

Pablo Picasso one of the painters that has influenced Madonna
Pablo Picasso one of the painters that has influenced Madonna

Madonna is reported to be often inspired by the visual artists she collects.[40] She once stated: "Every video I've done has been inspired by some painting or work of art".[41][9] Decades noted art as being part of her personal life and professional career.[42] In 2020, she said: "Art has kept me alive".[43]

A number of observers have commented about specific artists. About Andy Warhol, Pamela Robertson from the University of Notre Dame writes that although he influenced Bowie and Reed, "his true heir is Madonna. She captures the full force of Warhol".[44] French academic Georges-Claude Guilbert further describes him as the "virtual father of Madonna".[44] Scholars Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar agreed that "the work of Cindy Sherman prefigured Madonna's style in the art world".[45] Glenn Ward, wrote in Understand Postmodernism: Teach Yourself (2010) that "Madonna's work can be compared to that of the American artist Cindy Sherman".[46] A portrait of Lee Miller kissing another woman by Man Ray that she owns, inspired her and encouraged the use of lesbian imagery.[9]

Walker commented that Picasso was a precedent for Madonna's reinventions, as he was an artist who changed his style a number of times.[9] Madonna herself stated in 2015: "I like to compare myself to other kinds of artists, like Picasso". Madonna also commented that she believes there is not a time or expiration date for being creative. Like Picasso, she adds, "he kept painting and painting until the day he died".[47] In an interview with Vice that year, she responded about a question regarding death: "I want to live forever, and I'm going to", through her art.[48]

Collaborations with artists

N.B. This section only includes a brief description

Madonna's friend Martin Burgoyne designed the cover art of "Burning Up" (1983), which featured a grid of twenty postage stamp-sized portraits of Madonna in every color of the rainbow.[49] She also collaborated with her brother Christopher Ciccone, who became the art director of her tours Blond Ambition World Tour and The Girlie Show.[50] Graffiti artist Michael Stewart appeared as a dancer in her debut music video "Everybody".[51]

Street artist Mr. Brainwash entered the music scene when Madonna commissioned him to design the cover art of Celebration, designing 15 different covers to the wide release, including singles, the video compilation, and a special edition vinyl.[52] Brainwash worked again with Madonna, for the opening of her Hard Candy Fitness in Toronto, creating an 11-by-30-foot Madonna mural live on-site.[52] In 2017, Madonna invited Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra to paint two murals at the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care.[53] In 2012, she participated in a Madonna inspired contest sponsored by Johnnie Walker in Brazil, where she chose graffiti artist Simeone Sapienza to create the artwork of her single "Superstar".[54]

Brazilian visual artist Aldo Diaz was hired by Madonna to work on the covers of her single "Bitch I'm Madonna" and the Rebel Heart Tour, Madonna: Tears of a Clown's catalog and her official 2018 calendar.[55] According to Artnet, American visual artist Marilyn Minter has collaborated with Madonna.[56] She has also collaborated with fine-art, portrait and fashion photographers.

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Karlene Faith

Karlene Faith

Karlene Faith was a Canadian writer, feminist, scholar, and human rights activist. She was a professor emerita at the Simon Fraser University School of Criminology.

Martha Bayles

Martha Bayles

Martha Bayles is an American author, critic, and professor. She has written widely on the arts, media, cultural policy, and U.S. public diplomacy.

Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University is a public land-grant research university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The university was founded in 1860 near Pineville, Louisiana, under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy. The current LSU main campus was dedicated in 1926, consists of more than 250 buildings constructed in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and the main campus historic district occupies a 650-acre (260 ha) plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Indiana University

Indiana University

Indiana University (IU) is a system of public universities in the U.S. state of Indiana.

Plastic arts

Plastic arts

Plastic arts are art forms which involve physical manipulation of a plastic medium by molding or modeling such as sculpture or ceramics. Less often the term may be used broadly for all the visual arts, as opposed to literature and music. Materials for use in the plastic arts, in the narrower definition, include those that can be carved or shaped, such as stone or wood, concrete, glass, or metal.

Kitsch

Kitsch

Kitsch is a term applied to art and design that is perceived as naïve imitation, overly eccentric, gratuitous or of banal taste.

Art critic

Art critic

An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art criticism and they are published in newspapers, magazines, books, exhibition brochures, and catalogues and on websites. Some of today's art critics use art blogs and other online platforms in order to connect with a wider audience and expand debate about art.

Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace

Donatella Francesca Versace is an Italian fashion designer, businesswoman, socialite, and model. She is the sister of Gianni Versace, founder of the luxury fashion company Versace, with whom she worked closely on the development of the brand and in particular its combining of Italian luxury with pop culture and celebrity. Upon Gianni's death in 1997, she inherited a portion of the Versace brand and became its creative director. She is currently the brand's chief creative officer. Along with her brother Gianni, she is widely credited for the supermodel phenomenon of the 1990s by casting editorial models on the runway.

L'Officiel

L'Officiel

L'Officiel is a French fashion magazine. It has been published in Paris since 1921 and targets upper-income, educated women aged from 25 to 49. In 2006, it had a circulation of 101,719. A men's edition of L'Officiel, L'Officiel Hommes, and many foreign editions are also published. The complete name of the magazine is "L'Officiel de la couture et de la mode de Paris". In 2022, it was acquired by Hong Kong–Based company AMTD International. There is an American edition, L'Officiel USA.

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper that started publishing in Los Angeles in 1881. Based in the LA-adjacent suburb of El Segundo since 2018, it is the sixth-largest newspaper by circulation in the United States. The publication has won more than 40 Pulitzer Prizes. It is owned by Patrick Soon-Shiong and published by the Times Mirror Company. The newspaper’s coverage emphasizes California and especially Southern California stories.

Patrick Goldstein

Patrick Goldstein

Patrick Goldstein is an American former film critic and columnist for the Los Angeles Times who wrote about movies in a column titled The Big Picture. Colleague Tom O'Neil described him as the newspaper's "chief Oscarologist" as his column focused largely on the doings of the Academy Awards. Goldstein and O'Neil had a long rivalry concerning the outcome of annual Academy Awards.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is an art museum located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile vicinity of Los Angeles. LACMA is on Museum Row, adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits.

Footprints in the art scene

Within the art world, Madonna is almost as well known for being a collector as she is for her music.

—Lani Seelinger from The Culture Trip (2016).[57]

Madonna has made several appearances on the art scene. In this regard, Kriston Capps from New York magazine said that "Madonna has arguably been edging around the corners of contemporary art her entire career".[58] In 2016, Rain Embuscado from Artnet commented that she "has always had a hand in the art world".[59] British art historian, John A. Walker has documented her life and career from the perspective of the arts.[9] In 1990, the arts-based BBC1 series Omnibus broadcast a profile on Madonna, which was watched by 7.7 million people; slightly higher than the average audience of 3.1 million.[60]

Activities and contributions

In 2001, she presented the Turner Prize at Tate Britain in London, receiving positive comments from BBC's art correspondent, Rosie Millard.[61] It was called as "a rare marriage of pop and art".[62] British linguistic Roy Harris said: "The merger between art and showbiz is symbolized by the choice of Madonna".[63] Peter Leese from Jagiellonian University, commented that "the fashionable status of the new art was confirmed when Madonna came to London to host the awards ceremony".[64]

In 2014, she presented the Innovation Award of The Wall Street Journal at MoMA to her former dancer, Charles Riley for his contributions to the performing arts.[65] In 2017, she was the special guest with visual artist Marilyn Minter at A Year of Yes: Reimagining Feminism at the Brooklyn Museum in its special segment Brooklyn Talks: Madonna x Marilyn where both addressed topics of art and culture. The event was moderated by Anne Pasternak, Elizabeth Alexander, Shelby White and Leon Levy.[66]

Alex Greenberger from Artspace confirmed that Madonna has also made art.[67] In 2003, she collaborated with Steven Klein on the art installation X-STaTIC Pro=CeSS which was displayed at international art galleries such as Deitch Projects, Gagosian Gallery and Camera Work in Berlin.[67][68] The multimedia exhibit was touted as "Madonna's art world debut".[69] According to art critic Walter Robinson, the installations were priced at $35,000–$65,000, with a run of 1,000 copies of the catalogue priced at $350 plus taxes.[70] Robinson describes the project as "too cheesy to be art" but "philosophically speaking, no slight accomplishment in art world that privileges everything".[70] English author Lucy O'Brien described it as one of Madonna's most fascinating projects, and also commented it marked her transition into a new phase through her use of visuals.[71]

During the Re-Invention World Tour, Madonna used images of her installation X-STaTIC Pro=CeSS in its backdrop videos[72]
During the Re-Invention World Tour, Madonna used images of her installation X-STaTIC Pro=CeSS in its backdrop videos[72]

In 2013, Madonna co-initiated "Art for Freedom" with Vice magazine, as an effort to support independent creators of art content around the world and to promote and facilitate artistic and free expression, giving a monthly award to a budding artist.[73][67] Essayist Lisa Robertson commented that Madonna became a curator in the "stricter sense".[74] Madonna appeared at Gagosian Gallery in New York, to mark the launch of the initiative, with a performance showing the singer bound, handcuffed, and dragged onstage by performers in police uniforms.[58]

In 2022, along with digital artist Mike Winkelmann ("Beeple"), Madonna created a NFT project called "Mother of Creation" consisting of three videos, namely "Mother of Nature", "Mother of Evolution" and "Mother of Technology".[75][76] Each of the digital artworks is accompanied by music and a voiceover by Madonna, who reads poetry by poet Jalaluddin Rumi and reportedly spent one year creating the project.[77][78] Launched in the NTF platform SuperRare,[79] the project became a subject of scrutiny,[80] with Gareth Harris from The Art Newspaper saying: "There have been stranger collaborations in the art world, but not many have been as headline-hitting as the newly minted partnership between Queen of Pop Madonna and 'Beeple'".[77] The art magazine Apollo was "delighted by what passes for an expression on the face of Madonna of the NFT".[79] On January 2023, Madonna joined forces with Vanity Fair in their first issue "Icon", and according to Billboard her artistic photoshoot will spin off a "future exhibition, a short movie and an urban art performance".[81] On January 24, their short film The Enlightenment was uploaded on Madonna's YouTube account.[82]

Art exhibitions

Madonna "has quietly sponsored many [art] exhibitions over the years", wrote Máire Ní Fhlathúin in The Legacy of Colonialism (1998). Madonna's then-art adviser, recalled: "Madonna doesn't want or need the press for everything she does".[83]

In 1992, Madonna sponsored the first Jean-Michel Basquiat museum retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.[84][85][11] In 1995, she sponsored the first major retrospective of Tina Modotti at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on which curator and art historian Anne d'Harnoncourt commented: "She seemed a natural sponsor for an exhibition that introduces the artist to a broader public".[86] Kristine Ibsen from University of Notre Dame said that the exhibition was possible thanks to "a generous donation by Madonna" and occurred just a few months short of the centennial of Modotti's birth in August 1896.[87] In 1996, Madonna sponsored an exhibition of Basquiat's paintings at the Serpentine Gallery in London.[88] Madonna was the only sponsor for the Cindy Sherman's first retrospective Untitled Film Stills at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1997.[89][90][91]

She has visited numerous museums, including various attendances at MoMA launch parties,[40] and at Tate galleries while she lived in the United Kingdom.[92] For the latter museum, she lent Kahlo's Self-Portrait with Monkey at Tate Modern, which was the first British exhibition dedicated to Frida Kahlo.[93][94] The decision to loan the painting only came after several weeks of negotiation, which was partly delayed due the September 11 attacks.[93][92] Jennifer Mundy, curator of the exhibition, expressed: "Clearly something about this show persuaded Madonna to lend".[92] Commenting on the loan, Madonna said: "Loaning my Frida to Tate is like letting go of one of my precious children, but I know she will be in good hands and the exhibit would not be complete without her".[93]

Art collecting

Madonna's art collection include works of artists such as Salvador Dalí (left) and Man Ray (right)
Madonna's art collection include works of artists such as Salvador Dalí (left) and Man Ray (right)

Madonna is an art collector, with a collection worth between $100 million and $160 million.[95][96][67] Artnet deemed her possessions a blue-chip collection.[97] Madonna started collecting after receiving her first paycheck in the early 1980s; she hired Darlene Lutz as her personal art dealer, who worked with her from 1983 to 2004.[98][40][18] Both Darlene, and Madonna's brother Christopher Ciccone, bid at auctions on her behalf, with a budget no larger than $5 million.[95]

Her collection is based primarily on modernists,[97] and includes over 300 pieces of artists such as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger and Frida Kahlo.[96][67] She also acquired works by Old Masters, including Italian painter Master of 1310.[18] Austin Scaggs asked Madonna if she has paintings of her friends Warhol and Haring and her former boyfriend Basquiat; "Have a few of each", she replied.[13] Madonna revealed in a 2015 interview with Howard Stern that after their romantic relationship ended, Basquiat took back the paintings he had given her and destroyed them, painting over them black. She regrets giving the art back, but "felt pressured to do so since it was something he had created".[99] In 2021, she posted a series of photos of herself at home with a Basquiat drawing of her portrait.[100] Madonna also collects artistic portrait pictures. In the 1990s, she paid $165,000 for Modotti's Roses then the highest price ever commanded by a print at auction.[86][101]

Morton explained that her collection meant so much to her that she would rather be remembered as a modern-day Peggy Guggenheim than as a singer and actress. Madonna was quoted as saying, "Paintings are my secret garden and my passion. My reward and my nice sin".[39] Madonna appeared among the 100 Biggest Collectors by Art & Antiques (c. 1996), and within the Top 25 Art Collectors by The Hollywood Reporter in 2013.[102][96] A spokesman of Tate Gallery, called her a "distinguished art collector".[62]

Art supporter

Madonna showing fan arts in the backdrop videos of her Rebel Heart Tour
Madonna showing fan arts in the backdrop videos of her Rebel Heart Tour
Madonna showing fan arts in the backdrop videos of her Rebel Heart Tour

The works Untitled (1985) by American painter Julia Wachtel and The Six Second Epic (1986) by Kenji Fujita were bought by the Brooklyn Museum with funds from Madonna "Ciccone Penn".[103][104] Madonna has been regarded as an "art-lover",[62][92] and is also known as a supporter of modern art.[105] According to Tate Gallery, Madonna has a long-standing interest in contemporary British art.[62] Anthropologist Néstor García Canclini recognized Madonna's support for feminist art.[106]

Madonna has supported or benefited a number of unknown artists, by exposing their works on social media or purchasing their works. Some examples were reported by media.[107][108][55][109] One of them, Scottish painter, Michael Forbes gained briefly media attention when Madonna shared one of his creations, and which Forbes expressed it was inspired in his admirations towards the singer and influence amid the gay community.[110]

During the Rebel Heart era, she invited her fandom through an online contest to create fan art to display in backdrop videos for her Rebel Heart Tour.[111] Some of them, became part of an art exhibition in Italy at the Palazzo Saluzzo di Paesana titled Iconic – Portraits & Artwork inspired by The Queen curated by Gabriele Ferrarotti and Ettore Ventura with 50 pieces chosen by Madonna from 20 artists around the world.[112]

Her brother Christopher Ciccone wrote in Life with My Sister Madonna how she encouraged him by commenting on his artworks, "I like them, you should keep on painting".[113] Ciccone reported that her sister lent him $200,000 to buy a studio where he began to paint regularly.[95] Madonna's son Rocco, with British filmmaker Guy Ritchie has used the pseudonym "Rhed". Madonna expressed her support for him on social media, before his identity was revealed.[114] Art critic Jonathan Jones suggested "that the artist had been put into the public eye too soon".[114]

Art for charity

She has used art for charity. A canvas painting by Madonna went to a charity auction in 1991, and was bought by actor Jason Hervey.[115] She hosted a family art sale with two of her children to raise money for victims of the 2020 Beirut explosion.[116] In 2022, Madonna and Anthony Vaccarello curated and organized Sex by Madonna at Art Basel from November 29 to December 4, a free-pass pop-up exhibition honoring the 30 years of her first book Sex.[117] A re-edition of 800 copies was released with the proceeds going to her charitable organization, Raising Malawi.[118][119]

In 2013, Madonna sold the 1921 work Three Women at the Red Table of Fernand Léger which she bought in 1990 for $3.4 million, raising $7.2 million. This was in support of female education through her Ray of Light Foundation.[120] The action was reportedly a combination of her passions for art and education, with Madonna declaring: "I want to trade something valuable for something invaluable – Educating Girls!".[121] In 2016, during her Madonna: Tears of a Clown at Art Basel, Miami she held an art auction to benefit Madonna's Raising Malawi, as well as art and education initiatives. She auctioned pieces of artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. Combined with other personal belongings, she raised more than $7.5 million.[122][123]

When her project "Art for Freedom" was operating, she donated $10,000 each month to a nonprofit organization of a featured artist's choice.[124][67] Her NFT project with "Beeple" generated primary auction sales volume of $612,000, destined to three charities picked by Madonna and "Beeple".[80][78]

Controversies

In the late-1980s, she said: "Art should be controversial, and that's all there is to it"[125]
In the late-1980s, she said: "Art should be controversial, and that's all there is to it"[125]

Madonna created controversy when she presented the Turner Prize in 2001 to Martin Creed and told the audience: "Right on, motherfuckers— everyone is a winner!". In Is Art History Global? (2013), art historian James Elkins quotes Glyn Davis by saying on the event: "It would, of course, be inappropriate to see this as a radical intervention in art historical discourse. However, the clash of Nicholas Serota and pop icon Madonna produces its own pleasurable frisson; seeing a woman talk about art on television remains a rare sight, and it always to be welcome".[126] British art historian, Julian Stallabrass was convinced that the intention without doubt of having Madonna announce the Tate's Turner Prize, was to raise the profile of the event further. However, Stallabrass stated that the effect and the art displayed took on the role of more or less interesting diversions to the main spectacle of the "singer's publicity-hungry misbehaviour".[127]

Madonna's NFT videos produced along with "Beeple", received criticism from art critics like Ben Davis for her fully nude digitalized 3D character, while giving birth to butterflies, trees, and insects such as robotic centipedes through an actual scan of her genitals.[78][77] She defended the project by saying: "I'm doing what women have been doing since the beginning of time, which is giving birth. But on a more existential level, I'm giving birth to art & creativity & we would be lost without both".[128]

After allegedly refusing to loan a rare piece of Kahlo's artwork to the Detroit Institute of Arts, she garnered criticism.[129] However, cultural critic Vince Carducci in one conclusion said that "my suspicion is that the request never bubbled up to her".[130] Art journalist Lindsay Pollock said that she could not understand why Madonna "has no love" for Andreas Gursky after a report that a work that he gave to the singer was on sale at Sotheby's.[131] On January 2023, Brigitte Fouré, major of French city Amiens asked Madonna to led Jérôme-Martin Langlois's lost painting Diana and Endymion to the city, as it may be in her private collection. Thinking of Madonna as the possible owner, Fouré believes the singer obtained the artwork without permission, by saying "Clearly, we don't contest in any way that you have acquired this work legally".[132][133]

Discover more about Footprints in the art scene related topics

Art world

Art world

The art world comprises everyone involved in producing, commissioning, presenting, preserving, promoting, chronicling, criticizing, buying and selling fine art. It is recognized that there are many art worlds, defined either by location or alternative definitions of fine art. Some may use the singular art world to refer only to the elite level of globalized fine art. The art world(s) are continually changing in response both to the creativity of those that create art and in response to social change.

New York (magazine)

New York (magazine)

New York is an American biweekly magazine concerned with life, culture, politics, and style generally, and with a particular emphasis on New York City. Founded by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker in 1968 as a competitor to The New Yorker, it was brasher and less polite, and established itself as a cradle of New Journalism. Over time, it became more national in scope, publishing many noteworthy articles on American culture by writers such as Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Nora Ephron, John Heilemann, Frank Rich, and Rebecca Traister.

Artnet

Artnet

Artnet.com is an art market website. It is operated by Artnet Worldwide Corporation, which has headquarters in New York City, in the United States, and is owned by Artnet AG, a German publicly traded company based in Berlin that is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company increased revenues by 25.3% to 17.3 million EUR in 2015 compared with a year before.

John A. Walker (art critic)

John A. Walker (art critic)

John Albert Walker is a British art critic and historian who has written over 15 books on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on mass media. He has also written on design history methodology. Walker's books include Art since Pop (1975), Design History and the History of Design with Judy Attfield (1990), John Latham: The Incidental Person - His Art and Ideas (1994), Cultural Offensive: America's Impact on British Art since 1945 (1998), Art & Outrage (1999), Supercollector: A Critique of Charles Saatchi with Rita Hatton (2000), Left Shift: Radical Art in 1970s Britain (2001), Art in the Age of Mass Media, Art and Celebrity (2003), and Firefighters in Art and Media: A Pictorial History (2009).

BBC One

BBC One

BBC One is a British free-to-air public broadcast television channel owned and operated by the BBC. It is the corporation's flagship channel and is known for broadcasting mainstream programming, which includes BBC News television bulletins, primetime drama and entertainment, and live BBC Sport events.

Omnibus (British TV programme)

Omnibus (British TV programme)

Omnibus is an arts-based British documentary series, broadcast mainly on BBC 1 in the United Kingdom. The programme was the successor to the arts-based series Monitor.

Jagiellonian University

Jagiellonian University

The Jagiellonian University is a public research university in Kraków, Poland. Founded in 1364 by King Casimir III the Great, it is the oldest university in Poland and the 13th oldest university in continuous operation in the world. It is regarded as Poland's most prestigious academic institution. The university has been viewed as a guardian of Polish culture as well as a significant contributor to the intellectual heritage of Europe.

Lil Buck

Lil Buck

Charles "Lil Buck" Riley is an American dancer, actor and model from Memphis, Tennessee who specializes in a style of street dance called jookin. He gained popularity after director Spike Jonze used his cell phone to record an interpretive performance of "The Dying Swan" by Lil Buck and Yo-Yo Ma. Jonze uploaded the video to YouTube and as of November 2015, it had amassed over three million views.

Marilyn Minter

Marilyn Minter

Marilyn Minter is an American visual artist who is perhaps best known for her sensual paintings and photographs done in the photorealism style that blur the line between commercial and fine art. Minter currently teaches in the MFA department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum is an art museum located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. At 560,000 square feet (52,000 m2), the museum is New York City's second largest and contains an art collection with around 1.5 million objects. Located near the Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Flatbush, and Park Slope neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the museum's Beaux-Arts building was designed by McKim, Mead and White.

Anne Pasternak

Anne Pasternak

Anne Pasternak is a curator and museum director. She is the current Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum.

Elizabeth Alexander (poet)

Elizabeth Alexander (poet)

Elizabeth Alexander is an American poet, essayist, playwright, and the president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation since 2018. Previously she was a professor for 15 years at Yale University, where she taught poetry and chaired the African American studies department. In 2015, she was appointed director of creativity and free expression at the Ford Foundation. She then joined the faculty of Columbia University in 2016, as the Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Professor in the Humanities in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Performing arts and artistic production

It's pretty much impossible to deny Madonna is the modern master of performance art

—Samuel R. Murrian from American nationwide magazine, Parade (2022).[134]

The development of her work from a creative perspective and her footprints within different performing arts were commented on by different sociologists and others,[135] including Jane Miller and Mark Watts.[136] Kyra Belán, an art historian and professor from Broward College, stated she achieved major success as an artist within several art forms, further labeling her as a female achievement.[137]

Rather than a musician, Madonna was considered a performer.[135] Author Jason Hanley, commented that her performances made critics and scholars "stand up" and take note of her sound, style and message.[138] Paul Rutherford, professor at the University of Toronto considered her a visual performer with "extraordinary stage presence".[139] Italian scholars from University of Macerata, concurred that she has constructed an innovative "poetics of performances".[135] Canadian professor Karlene Faith commented that her videos and live performances, reveal "an uncommon conceptual and artful imagination".[140] A scholar commented that Madonna is the first to mark the passage from "performativity" as a way of doing to a way of being.[135] In Women in Russian Theatre (2013), however, Catherine Schule explained that some "avant-garde critics regard her performances as trendy schlock rather than legitimate art".[141]

Stage shows

Madonna's stage performances have been considered tableaux vivants and theatrical shows
Madonna's stage performances have been considered tableaux vivants and theatrical shows

Madonna's live shows are regarded as organized sequences of events, scripts, known texts and movements.[135] According to music critic Michael Heatley, she "always set high standards with her stage shows".[142] Described as tableaux vivants, for senior lecturer Ian Inglis, her live performances are "theatrical events", while others deem them "immaculate performances".[143] Writing for Slant Magazine in 2015, Sal Cinquemani considered her "the greatest performer of our time", saying that she is a showgirl with theatrical shows of narrative storytelling.[144] Another group, explained how she divided into "thematic categories" her concerts in unusual forms.[145] In William Baker's words, the splitting of sections derived that pretty much everyone copies or everyone is inspired by.[146]

Madonna's performances are art, after all—art that incorporates a play of sometimes conflicting social and political ideas

—Paul Thom, dean of arts at Australian National University (2000).[147]

Madonna has been credited with propelling various artistic concepts for stage shows and tours. Fashion journalist William Baker mentioned that "the modern pop concert experience was created by Madonna really".[146] Lester Brathwaite from Logo TV, said she "transformed the concept of a rock concert from a mere live show into true performance art".[148] Scholars and journalists, including Berrin Yanıkkaya and Matt Cain, detailed how she "paved the way" of extravaganza in concerts as a theatrical spectacle and having the female figure at center stage.[149][150] If a specific title is mentioned, it is generally the Blond Ambition World Tour, for which Jacob Bernstein of The New York Times recognized other musicians, but with Madonna, he says, the singer both set the tone and the bar of modern megatours.[151]

Videos

Professor Rutherford said her videos have been part of Madonna's visual presentation and artistic renditions.[139] They were considered not merely commercial productions, but visual performances.[135] Rutherford noted how she put considerable time and money into crafting what were often elaborate productions.[139] She owns several videos that are among the most expensive videos in history. She forged collaborative friendships with an array of photographers, directors and videomakers.[153] At the end, Madonna was credited as "the first female artist to exploit fully the potential of the music video".[154]

Reviews of her music videos played a major role for her academic scrutiny.[155] A scholar argued she became "the most analyzed" figure from the rest of female music video stars.[156] Martha Bayles explained that during the height of analysis on music videos, it was more important one's relation to the visual arts instead one's musical statement, concluding that's why pundits, professors and preachers go cross-eyed trying to interpret Madonna, "taking her far more seriously than others".[31]

The influence and association of Madonna with the format were so solid that professor Norman Fairclough made the suggestion that "the evolution of the music video could indeed be studied through Madonna".[157] Critic Armond White even credited Madonna with helping to "popularize" the music video.[158] In similar remarks, Sarah Frink from Consequence mentioned Michael Jackson, but concluded it was Madonna that helped set the standard for the music video.[159]

Her influence in the videos as an art form, was commented on by White, who said "she elevated this into a memorable expressive art form", and noted her "art-consciousness" influence in artists such as Björk or Lady Gaga.[158] He called Madonna's connection with that zeitgeist "historic".[158]

Dancing

Madonna combined dance as a serious art form with clubbing.[160] She is credited with popularizing various dance styles, including voguing and krumping
Madonna combined dance as a serious art form with clubbing.[160] She is credited with popularizing various dance styles, including voguing and krumping

According to professor Thomas Harrison of Jacksonville University, "others have considered that her role as a musician and producer is secondary to her role as a dancer".[161] Madonna started off as a dancer (modern dance), and it was a "thing that separates her" from others, said choreographer Richmond Talauega.[160] Rolling Stone staffers commented she is "entirely synonymous with dancing".[162]

Various scholars and dance critics have reviewed Madonna in the artistic discipline. American sociologist Cindy Patton was one of the first in articulate the cultural and proto-political effects of dance culture with Madonna.[163] A The Guardian dance critic, noted her forays within several dance forms, from serious art to club trends.[160]

Madonna's artistic concepts within dance forms was also remarked. Included in Rolling Stone's poll of the "10 Favorite Dancing Musicians", Madonna was credited by the magazine to help bringing many underground dancing or its elements into the mainstream culture.[162] Publishing company, DK noted her influence in dance styles such as voguing and krumping saying she made them "globally popular".[164] Madonna was even initially perceived as the "inventor" of voguing by many.[165] Similarly, a 1994 article from Public Culture, said the gay ball dance form was popularized by Madonna "in a way that made it seem like she practically invented it".[166] Others noted Madonna's influence in rave culture fo her generation.[167]

The Smithsonian Institution said Madonna transformed pop concerts into dance spectacles, further crediting her with popularizing the use of headset microphones to allow greater movement and used choreography.[168] While she was not the first, due to her prominent usage, a model became known as "Madonna mic".[169] The institution also deemed Madonna as the first performer to use her tours as reenactments of her music videos.[168]

Depictions and accolades

Madonna-inspired dance performances, Justify by Clara Furey (left) at Festival TransAmériques, and Madonna by two performing artists (right)
Madonna-inspired dance performances, Justify by Clara Furey (left) at Festival TransAmériques, and Madonna by two performing artists (right)
Madonna-inspired dance performances, Justify by Clara Furey (left) at Festival TransAmériques, and Madonna by two performing artists (right)

According to English writer Andrew Morton, various of her films have been exhibited in museums around the world, including the Pompidou Center in Paris, as modern works of art.[39] In 2016, MoMA PS1 screened Madonna: Truth or Dare celebrating its 25th anniversary and its impact, including the arts.[170]

Her music videos have been part of art exhibitions as well, and this include «Bedtime Story» displayed in permanent exhibitions at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and then in Museum of the Moving Image of London.[171][172] Other entities like the School of Visual Arts screened the video as well.[173] The 2000 article Madonna and Hypertext, published by the National Art Education Association in their Studies in Art Education, explored two Madonna's videos.[174] In 2018, Madonna was awarded by the High School of Performing Arts in Malaga (in Spanish: Escuela Superior de Artes Escénicas de Málaga, ESAEM). They rendered a performance tribute called Madonna Revolution.[175]

Discover more about Performing arts and artistic production related topics

Performance art

Performance art

Performance art is an artwork or art exhibition created through actions executed by the artist or other participants. It may be witnessed live or through documentation, spontaneously developed or written, and is traditionally presented to a public in a fine art context in an interdisciplinary mode. Also known as artistic action, it has been developed through the years as a genre of its own in which art is presented live. It had an important and fundamental role in 20th century avant-garde art.

Parade (magazine)

Parade (magazine)

Parade was an American nationwide Sunday newspaper magazine, distributed in more than 700 newspapers in the United States until 2022. The most widely read magazine in the U.S., Parade had a circulation of 32 million and a readership of 54.1 million. Anne Krueger has been the magazine's editor since 2015.

Jane Miller

Jane Miller

Jane Miller is an American poet.

Mark Watts (journalist)

Mark Watts (journalist)

Mark Watts is the former editor-in-chief of the defunct investigative news website Exaro. Watts left Exaro in 2016 and it closed later that year after having published reports on sexual abuse and murder allegations from Carl Beech. These allegations spurred Operation Midland and were ultimately deemed false.

Broward College

Broward College

Broward College is a public college in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is part of the Florida College System. It was established in 1959 as part of a move to broaden Florida's two-year colleges. In 2008 it adopted its current name, reflecting that it is one of the schools designated a "state college", meaning it can offer four-year bachelor's degrees.

Karlene Faith

Karlene Faith

Karlene Faith was a Canadian writer, feminist, scholar, and human rights activist. She was a professor emerita at the Simon Fraser University School of Criminology.

Performativity

Performativity

Performativity is the concept that language can function as a form of social action and have the effect of change. The concept has multiple applications in diverse fields such as anthropology, social and cultural geography, economics, gender studies, law, linguistics, performance studies, history, management studies and philosophy.

Avant-garde

Avant-garde

In the arts and in literature, the term avant-garde identifies a genre of art, an experimental work of art, and the experimental artist who created the work of art, which usually is aesthetically innovative, whilst initially being ideologically unacceptable to the artistic Establishment of the time. The military metaphor of an advance guard identifies the artists and writers whose innovations in style, form, and subject-matter challenge the artistic and aesthetic validity of the established forms of art and the literary traditions of their time; thus how the artists who created the anti-novel and Surrealism were ahead of their times.

Michael Heatley

Michael Heatley

Michael Heatley is the author or editor of over thirty biographies, including Backstreet Boys: The Unofficial Book, Bon Jovi: In Their Own Words and Rolf Harris: The Most Talented Man In The World. In 1995, he wrote the liner notes to Rolf's best-selling album Rolf Rules OK!

Showgirl

Showgirl

A showgirl is a female dancer or performer in a stage entertainment show intended to showcase the performer's physical attributes, typically by way of revealing clothing, toplessness, or nudity.

Australian National University

Australian National University

The Australian National University (ANU) is a public research university located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Its main campus in Acton encompasses seven teaching and research colleges, in addition to several national academies and institutes.

Logo TV

Logo TV

Logo TV is an American basic cable channel owned by Paramount Media Networks, a division of Paramount Global. Launched in 2005, Logo was originally dedicated to lifestyle and entertainment programming targeting LGBT audiences. As of January 2016, approximately 50 million households receive Logo.

Artistic reception

Postmodernism

Postmodernism encompasses a variety of approaches and movements, including aesthetics. In this sense, professor Arthur Asa Berger said that "much has been said of her 'postmodernism'" and it was a time when discussing Madonna in some academic circles was popular in this context. Berger further explains that a simple way of thinking about postmodernism is as the way in which "our contemporary artists and culture produce art".[176] English writer Lucy O'Brien held that "much has been made of Madonna as a postmodern icon", as well as that her reference points have been resolutely modernist.[177]

American philosopher Susan Bordo described her as a "postmodern heroine",[178] and suggested by assistant professor Olivier Sécardin of Utrecht University to epitomize postmodernism.[179] Christian writer Graham Cray gives his point of view, once commenting "Madonna is perhaps the most visible example of what is called post-modernism",[180] while for Martin Amis she is "perhaps the most postmodern personage on the planet".[180] Academics Sudhir Venkatesh and Fuat Firat deemed her as "representative of postmodern rebellion".[179] According to Glenn Ward, "Madonna has been important to postmodernism for her ability to plunder the conventions".[181]

Criticisms and ambiguity

Madonna during her Rebel Heart Tour. She has received criticism for the subversion of religious art and imagery
Madonna during her Rebel Heart Tour. She has received criticism for the subversion of religious art and imagery

Through her career, as Dahlia Schweitzer explains in 2019, many critics have long resisted using the words "Madonna" and "artistic" in the same sentence.[182] Back in 2013, Sandra Barneda from the website The Objective, observed that for many "she is far" from art.[183] Michael Love wrote for Paper magazine in 2019, that both her music and visuals "have always been interpreted as 'good' or 'bad' based on what's relevant in the moment".[184]

Late-twentieth-century perspectives on Madonna engaged the audience, art community and scholars by discussing low and high culture in her work.[185] By the early 1990s, three academics conducted a survey to by college students, where Madonna was seen as "all artifice and no art" and "as emblematic of the lowest form of aesthetic culture".[186] They compared Madonna's art to being "suspicious, because unlike the works of Vincent van Gogh or Henri Matisse, it is readily available for purchase at any record or video store", implying that she did not belong to a high art tradition of selflessness.[186]

The fact that her work could provoke such a lively debate was surely a sign of its cultural significance, if not of its high aesthetic value.

—British art historian John A. Walker, commenting on Madonna's Omnibus episode (1990) reception.[60]

English art critic John Berger, also add that her work's accessibility to a mass public may have contributed to a decrease in its perceived value.[186] Academics like Douglas Kellner, on the contrary suggested that Madonna should be interpreted in both terms, and her works by implication can thus be read either as works of art or analyzed as "commodities" that shrewdly exploit markets.[187] Kriston Capps from New York, commented that Jeff Koons made conspicuous consumption a concern of fine art, but Madonna immortalized it with "Material Girl".[58] To Italian art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, the song was perfect for a time when art, money and politics were electronically entwined.[188] Citing three scholars' poll, Simon Frith stated "clearly, pushing Madonna to the bottom rungs of the pop cultural ladder makes a space at the top for pop music 'art'".[189]

Her broadcast profile as an artiste in the arts-based BBC One series Omnibus divided art community and public, and according to British art historian, John A. Walker, "letters and articles subsequently appeared in the press both for and against Madonna".[60] Michael Ignatieff claimed that Madonna's conception of art was false, that she was not a "serious artist".[60] He was quoted as saying, "I certainly don't mind that she is obscene [...] What I can't stand about Madonna is that she thinks she's an artist".[180] In previous years, in 1988, professor of media arts John Ellis questioned the idea of having Madonna in Omnibus.[190]

Madonna's sexuality has worked both for and against her. In Madonnaland, Alina Simone denotes that "her art is highly sexualized because she is highly sexualized".[24] Her first book, Sex was considered an art book. The outlet Contemporary Art pointed out that by "bringing together arty images" the book raised interesting questions about when art is acceptable.[11] In using religious art, Madonna has been called an iconoclast, and has received criticism from the religious sector.

Alternative views

Her enormous commercial success is often held against her [...] as evidence that she prostitutes her art (and, by extension, herself).

Genders, academic journal of University of Texas Press (1988).[191]

In On Fashion (1994) by scholars Shari Benstock and Suzanne Ferriss, it was concluded that Madonna challenges and "puts in question and tests one's aesthetic categories and commitments", but she can be viewed as a modernist.[192] Other scholars compared how Madonna's failure to conform to established rules and commentary have led to her dismissal as a serious artist and fueled attacks on her.[193] Walker, the British art historian proposes that "there are few art forms and artists capable of providing such exhilarating experiences and this is why Madonna has attracted so many".[9] He further prompted that it is evident "she fully understands that art depends upon artifice, creation, invention, imagination and masquerade".[9]

Pamela Robertson from the University of Notre Dame addressed how "Madonna's art and its reception by critics and fans reflect and shape some of our culture's anxieties about identity and power inequalities".[194] In the early 1990s, American musicologist Susan McClary questioned some criticisms towards Madonna, but provided arguments in her area to refute some of them, explaining that the framework in which Madonna operates is somewhat different from that of the Western art tradition, in which feminine subjects must be destroyed. She also said Madonna exercises control over her art.[195] In 1990, music critic Jon Pareles invited the audience to see her as a "continuous multi-media art project".[196] Years later, in 2002, Black Belt editor Sara Fogan observed that Madonna "challenges herself as an artist",[197] and by 2022, Italian academics from the University of Macerata considered: "Madonna is not a common artist, but a hypertrophic system of signs and symbols bound to the worlds of spectacle, art, music, cinema and fashion".[135]

Recognition

She is the "perfect example" of the visual artist, noted graffiti artist, and cultural commentator Fab Five Freddy.[39] Following Michael Jackson's death, a panel of Argentine art critics deemed her at that time as "the only universal artist left standing". Those critics, including Daniel Molina, Graciela Speranza and Alicia de Arteaga explained that she is herself "a multimedia expression that condenses fashion, dance, photography, sculpture, music, video and painting".[198] She has been criticized by other musicians, but also praised by others. In the latter group, Kanye West commented: "Madonna, I think, is the greatest visual musical artist that we've ever had".[199]

Madonna was quoted as saying: "I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art".[200] Writing for Interview, American illusionist David Blaine suggested that perhaps she "is herself her own greatest work of art—something so vastly influential as to be unfathomable".[14] John R. May, a professor of English and religious studies at Louisiana State University concludes that the singer is a contemporary gesamtkunstwerk becoming a work of pop-art herself.[33] Scottish music blogger Alan McGee proposes that she is "post-modern art, the likes of which we will never see again".[201]

Discover more about Artistic reception related topics

Outline of aesthetics

Outline of aesthetics

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to aesthetics:

Arthur Asa Berger

Arthur Asa Berger

Arthur Asa Berger is Professor Emeritus in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts at San Francisco State University.

Lucy O'Brien

Lucy O'Brien

Lucy O'Brien is a British author and journalist whose work focuses on women in music.

Graham Cray

Graham Cray

Graham Alan Cray is a retired British Anglican bishop. He was the Bishop of Maidstone in the Diocese of Canterbury from 2001 to 2009, and was the Archbishops' Missioner and Team Leader of Fresh Expressions from 2009 to 2014.

Martin Amis

Martin Amis

Martin Louis Amis is a British novelist, essayist, memoirist, and screenwriter. He is best known for his novels Money (1984) and London Fields (1989). He received the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his memoir Experience and has been listed for the Booker Prize twice. Amis served as the Professor of Creative Writing at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester until 2011. In 2008, The Times named him one of the fifty greatest British writers since 1945.

Madonna and religion

Madonna and religion

Madonna is an Italian-American singer-songwriter raised Catholic, who has incorporated in her works abundant references of religious themes of different religion and spiritual practices, including Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism and Kabbalah among others. A scholar described her as "perhaps the first artist of our time to routinely and successfully employ images from many spiritual cultures and multiple religious traditions". Various theologians, academics and sociologists of religion among others have studied the figure of Madonna in their areas, generating both praise and controversy. Professor Arthur Asa Berger summed up that Madonna has raised to authors many questions about religion.

Dahlia Schweitzer

Dahlia Schweitzer

Dahlia Schweitzer is a pop culture critic and writer. She is an associate professor in the film and media department at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is the author of various books and articles on film, television, music, gender, and identity.

Paper (magazine)

Paper (magazine)

Paper is a New York City-based independent magazine focusing on fashion, popular culture, nightlife, music, art, and film. Initially produced monthly, the magazine eventually became a quarterly publication, and a digital version was made available online at papermag.com. In 2020, physical production of the magazine was paused following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Digital content still continues to be published via the website.

Low culture

Low culture

In sociology, the term low culture identifies the forms of popular culture that have mass appeal, which is in contrast to the forms of high culture that appeal to a smaller proportion of the populace. Culture theory proposes that both high culture and low culture are subcultures within a society, because the culture industry mass-produces each type of popular culture for every socio-economic class.

High culture

High culture

In a society, high culture is the subculture that encompasses the cultural objects of aesthetic value, which a society collectively esteem as being exemplary works of art, and the intellectual works of literature and music, history and philosophy, which a society consider representative of their culture.

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French visual artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

John A. Walker (art critic)

John A. Walker (art critic)

John Albert Walker is a British art critic and historian who has written over 15 books on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on mass media. He has also written on design history methodology. Walker's books include Art since Pop (1975), Design History and the History of Design with Judy Attfield (1990), John Latham: The Incidental Person - His Art and Ideas (1994), Cultural Offensive: America's Impact on British Art since 1945 (1998), Art & Outrage (1999), Supercollector: A Critique of Charles Saatchi with Rita Hatton (2000), Left Shift: Radical Art in 1970s Britain (2001), Art in the Age of Mass Media, Art and Celebrity (2003), and Firefighters in Art and Media: A Pictorial History (2009).

Influence

Madonna's artistic representations, ranging from graffiti to fan art. From the second to fourth image, Madonna is depicted as: Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Vitruvian Man and Medusa
Madonna's artistic representations, ranging from graffiti to fan art. From the second to fourth image, Madonna is depicted as: Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Vitruvian Man and Medusa
Madonna's artistic representations, ranging from graffiti to fan art. From the second to fourth image, Madonna is depicted as: Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Vitruvian Man and Medusa
Madonna's artistic representations, ranging from graffiti to fan art. From the second to fourth image, Madonna is depicted as: Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Vitruvian Man and Medusa
Madonna's artistic representations, ranging from graffiti to fan art. From the second to fourth image, Madonna is depicted as: Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Vitruvian Man and Medusa

According to Stephanie Eckardt from W, her impact and influence in the arts have been "made almost entirely behind the scenes".[202]

A number of observers have explained how Madonna influenced the link between art and pop stage. An editor credited Madonna for making collaborations with pop artists routine.[203] In this aspect, Eckardt similarly argued she pioneered the crossover between pop and art by hanging with the likes of Warhol, Basquiat or Haring.[202] Editors of Enciclopedia gay (2009) also recognized Madonna's footprints in different fields of the arts, concluding that no artist has done as much to push the boundaries of pop music into the art world.[204] Marissa G. Muller from W also praised her contribution to bridging the worlds of pop music and fine art.[203] Others explored how Madonna brought art from the streets into the mainstream.[202] Talking about her formative years in New York, Malina Bickford from Vice commented on her influence in bringing the underground to the mainstream.[1]

Italian art critic Francesco Bonami, called her the Picasso from music world.[205] Ana Monroy Yglesias from the Grammy Awards website called her the Art-pop queen.[206] For Mark Bego, she has "turning everything she touches into classic pop art".[207]

On other artists

For me, Madonna has became even more important than any art movement in terms of history and popular culture

Silvia Prada in Dazed's article: "Madonna interpreted by contemporary artists" (2014).[208]

She took inspiration from other plastic artists, and music journalist Ricardo Pineda told EFE, that her mentions and references were favorable for their legacies.[209] Madonna's own influence has been found in various contemporary artists. Mateo Blanco, commented: "Madonna has always been a great inspiration to me".[210] American installation artist Trisha Baga has a "longstanding fascination" with Madonna which "is often manifested in her work", according to Dundee Contemporary Arts' website.[211] Pegasus told the Evening Standard that he always listens to Madonna while working, and his works "tends to have elements of her character".[212] In 2014, curator Jefferson Hack dedicated an article in which she was "interpreted by contemporary artists" with portraits in art forms and their feelings about her.[208]

Different media reports have shown her influence on other lesser-known artists, and from the underground scene. In terms of influence, the Greek Reporter said that Greek graffiti artist George Callas has a "creative obsession" with her.[107] Madonna has always been an inspiration for Spanish painter Jesús Arrúe.[213] Brazilian visual artist, Aldo Diaz, who also collaborated with her, talked about Madonna's influence for him to the point he began to study photography, arts and became a graphic designer.[55] Most of them have depicted Madonna.

Impact on Frida Kahlo cult

Anthropologist Néstor García Canclini (sic) "Madonna's role in the Kahlo cult is pleasantly exciting"[106]
Anthropologist Néstor García Canclini (sic) "Madonna's role in the Kahlo cult is pleasantly exciting"[106]

Madonna attracted media headlines when she revealed her interest in Frida Kahlo during the late 20th-century; Kahlo was considered to be a relatively lesser-known figure on the international stage outside the arts. Andrew Morton reflected: "How many pop singers have ever heard of Frida Kahlo?".[39] In 1993, Janis Bergman-Carton published a scholarly article in Texas Studies in Literature and Language that examined how "both women have become part of standard journalistic reportage", with mutual benefit.[214]

From the art world, to the media and academia, numerous agents expressed Madonna's importance for developing the public's interest in Kahlo. In 2005, The Daily Telegraph staffers credited Madonna with transforming Kahlo into a "collector's darling".[215] British art historian, John A. Walker, commented that partly due to Madonna, the Mexican painter became a posthumous celebrity not only in the domain of art history but also in popular culture.[9] Canadian art historian, Gauvin Alexander Bailey also concurred that she helped spark a wide interest in the artist.[216] Historian Hayden Herrera added that the mention of Madonna sets the tone for the entire piece.[217] Magazine Artes de México also referred to the importance of Madonna in the "Fridomania" cult.[218] According to El Sol de Tampico, Madonna drew media attention to Alejandro Gómez Arias, a former Kahlo boyfriend.[219]

Discover more about Influence related topics

Graffiti

Graffiti

Graffiti is art that is written, painted or drawn on a wall or other surface, usually without permission and within public view. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.

Fan art

Fan art

Fan art or fanart is artwork created by fans of a work of fiction and derived from a series character or other aspect of that work. They are usually done by amateur artists, semi-professionals or professionals. As fan labor, fan art refers to artworks that are neither created nor (normally) commissioned or endorsed by the creators of the work from which the fan art derives.

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Girl with a Pearl Earring is an oil painting by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer, dated c. 1665. Going by various names over the centuries, it became known by its present title towards the end of the 20th century after the earring worn by the girl portrayed there. The work has been in the collection of the Mauritshuis in The Hague since 1902 and has been the subject of various literary and cinematic treatments.

Medusa

Medusa

In Greek mythology, Medusa, also called Gorgo, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, although the author Hyginus makes her the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto.

Pop music

Pop music

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form during the mid-1950s in the United States and the United Kingdom. The terms popular music and pop music are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many disparate styles. During the 1950s and 1960s, pop music encompassed rock and roll and the youth-oriented styles it influenced. Rock and pop music remained roughly synonymous until the late 1960s, after which pop became associated with music that was more commercial, ephemeral, and accessible.

Fine art

Fine art

In European academic traditions, fine art is developed primarily for aesthetics or creative expression, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork. In the aesthetic theories developed in the Italian Renaissance, the highest art was that which allowed the full expression and display of the artist's imagination, unrestricted by any of the practical considerations involved in, say, making and decorating a teapot. It was also considered important that making the artwork did not involve dividing the work between different individuals with specialized skills, as might be necessary with a piece of furniture, for example. Even within the fine arts, there was a hierarchy of genres based on the amount of creative imagination required, with history painting placed higher than still life.

Francesco Bonami

Francesco Bonami

Francesco Bonami is an Italian art curator and writer who is currently Honorary Director of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin. He lives in Milan and Manhattan, New York.

Grammy Awards

Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards, or simply known as the Grammys, are awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to recognize "outstanding" achievements in the music industry. They are regarded by many as the most prestigious, significant awards in the music industry worldwide. It was originally called the Gramophone Awards, as the trophy depicts a gilded gramophone. The Grammys are the first of the Big Three networks' major music awards held annually, and is considered one of the four major annual American entertainment awards, alongside the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, and the Tony Awards. The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor the musical accomplishments of performers for the year 1958. After the 2011 ceremony, the Recording Academy overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012.

Mark Bego

Mark Bego

Mark Joseph Bego is an author known for his biographies focusing on the rock & roll and show business genres. Bego has written a total of 59 books, two of which have gone on to become New York Times Best Sellers. Bego has written biographies about some of entertainment's biggest stars, including: Linda Ronstadt, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Billy Joel, Patsy Cline, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Whitney Houston.

Art movement

Art movement

An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years. Art movements were especially important in modern art, when each consecutive movement was considered as a new avant-garde movement. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new style which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy.

Dazed

Dazed

Dazed is a bi-monthly British style magazine founded in 1991. It covers music, fashion, film, art, and literature. Dazed is published by Dazed Media, an independent media group known for producing stories across its print, digital and video brands. The company's portfolio includes titles AnOther, Dazed Beauty and NOWNESS. The company's newest division, Dazed Studio, creates brand campaigns across the luxury and lifestyle sectors. Based in London, its founding editors are Jefferson Hack and fashion photographer Rankin.

EFE

EFE

Agencia EFE, S.A. is a Spanish international news agency, the major multimedia news agency in Spanish language and the world's fourth largest wire service after the Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. EFE was created in 1939 by Ramón Serrano Súñer, then Francoist faction's Interior Minister.

Artistic depictions

Naturally [...] many visual artists have been inspired to depict Madonna.

—British art historian John A. Walker (2003).[9]

Welsh artist Nathan Wyburn with several creations, including a Madonna portrait as Evita front right[220]
Welsh artist Nathan Wyburn with several creations, including a Madonna portrait as Evita front right[220]

Madonna has been depicted by numerous artists around the world, including those that she influenced. Alone the book Madonna in Art (2004), compiled portraits and paintings by over 116 artists from 23 countries, including Andrew Logan, Sebastian Krüger, Al Hirschfeld, and Peter Howson.[221] The book which contains over 244 artworks and 190 pages, is noted by its author as a "tribute to Madonna and her remarkable career in art".[222]

Others have depicted Madonna multiple times. Scottish painter Howson, who dedicated numerous pieces to Madonna, commented in 2002: "She's a subject everyone is drawn to".[223][224] Scottish academic Alan Riach, explained that the Madonnas of Howson address the question of assertion, strength and power.[225] In his final years, Mexican painter Alberto Gironella devoted almost all his works to Madonna, or took inspiration from her, claiming that "more than pop [she] is the last surrealist".[226] Gironella was reported to have an "obsession" with Madonna,[226][227] described as an amour fou by an outlet from the National Council for Culture and the Arts in Mexico.[228] According to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Monterrey he started with his Madonnas in 1991.[229]

According to the portal Universo Online, Madonna became a muse for her boyfriend Jean-Michel Basquiat, who depicted her in his art.[230] A Panel of Experts was inspired by his lovers, Madonna and Canadian painter Suzanne Mallouk.[231] Madonna reported that Andy Warhol and Keith Haring did four pieces for her as a gift for her wedding with Sean Penn.[13]

Spanish plastic artist, Mikel Belascoain created the first art building of Pamplona, capital city of Navarra, Spain with several paintings of Madonna called Madonna 1986. Belascoain reported to be more interested in Madonna as an artist than Marcel Duchamp.[232] In 2005, South African artist Candice Breitz created Queen (Portrait of Madonna), a multichannel video installation featuring 24 Italian Madonna fans performing their way individually, through Madonna's The Immaculate Collection album on a grid of monitors. It has been exhibited in museums like SCAD Museum of Art or Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Art critic Roberta Smith of The New York Times commented positively on this artwork.[233]

In Madonnaland, Alina Simone explained that graffiti artist Adam Cost had begun wheat pasting his "Cost Fucked Madonna" mantra all over Manhattan in the 20th century. Simone discovered that "Cost" was his pseudonym, and his stickers reading "Cost Fucked Madonna" became an underground catch-phrase in the 1990s, spurring a healthy trade in knock-off T-shirts and other merchandise. Following his comeback after his arrest, "Cost Fucked Madonna" posters began reappearing on the streets of New York in 2012.[24]

Selected gallery

Art exhibitions and museums depictions

2012 exhibition Como una oración: Las Madonnas de Javier Restrepo Cuartas (English: Like a Prayer: the Madonnas of Javier Restrepo Cuartas)
2012 exhibition Como una oración: Las Madonnas de Javier Restrepo Cuartas (English: Like a Prayer: the Madonnas of Javier Restrepo Cuartas)
2012 exhibition Como una oración: Las Madonnas de Javier Restrepo Cuartas (English: Like a Prayer: the Madonnas of Javier Restrepo Cuartas)

French academic Georges-Claude Guilbert noticed that her likeness has been exhibited in museums.[234]

In honor of Madonna, Johnnie Walker organized the art exposition Arte urbana – Projeto Keep Walking Brazil in 2012. It featured works by 30 different graffiti artists.[235] The same year, a Colombian art exhibition was presented at EAFIT University curated by María Patricia García Mejía, under the title Como una oración (in English: Like a Prayer), to show the Madonnas of pop artist Javier Restrepo, and demonstrating how "Madonna's universality touched" the plastic arts.[236][237]

In 2013, the Guayaquil Municipal Museum hosted a multidisciplinary exhibition, titled Madonna: Ícono cultural-arte, moda y filatelia that explored Madonna's impact and references in arts, fashion, philately and numismatics.[238] In 2017, Lea & Flò Palace hosted the Italian contemporary art exhibition Thank you Madonna – I miei sogni in technicolors, curated by Michalangelo Prencipe.[239]

Madonna's Italian art exhibition Thank You Madonna: I Miei Sogni In Technicolor (2017)
Madonna's Italian art exhibition Thank You Madonna: I Miei Sogni In Technicolor (2017)

Madonna has been part of the theme of different exhibitions. She had a special segment in Alberto Gironella's retrospective of 2004, Alberto Gironella. Barón de Betenebros, and in his 1994 display, Más que pop, Madonna es la única surrealista.[240] M- de Marilyn à Madonna was on display in Brazil in 2014, to commemorate Marilyn Monroe's death and Madonna's birthday, both of which occurred in the month of August. It featured 46 artworks of different artists.[241]

Madonna was part of the exhibition De Madonna a Madonna (in English: From Madonna to Madonna) installed in countries such as Chile (Centro Cultural Matucana 100), Spain (MUSAC) and Argentina (Juan B. Castagnino Fine Arts Museum) to approach the role of women throughout history.[242]

Sculptures

Around 1988, in the town of Pacentro, Italy (the city of her paternal grandparents) some residents proposed putting up a 13-foot statue of a bustier-wearing Madonna, hoping as much to attract tourists as to bestow honorary citizenship on its "most famous descendent", but the proposal was vetoed by the mayor and others.[243] The Italian sculptor Walter Pugni, who planned to erect the bronze statue, showed a 2-foot clay model to the press and justified her as "a symbol for our children and represents a better world for them in the year 2000".[244] Brazilian plastic artist, Nico Rocha created in 1993, a 2.3-foot statue of Madonna to commemorate her 10-year career and her first visit to Brazil.[245]

Several Madame Tussauds around the world and in the United States have wax effigies of Madonna.[246] By 1999, the Estonian outlet Sõnumileht ranked one of them third on their best-of list of Tussauds' wax sculpture.[247] Madame Tussauds Sydney, launched simultaneously three different Madonna's wax statues, making the first time they revealed that amount of one female performer in their history according to themselves.[248] She is also depicted France's Musée Grévin,[249] among other places.

Discover more about Artistic depictions related topics

John A. Walker (art critic)

John A. Walker (art critic)

John Albert Walker is a British art critic and historian who has written over 15 books on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on mass media. He has also written on design history methodology. Walker's books include Art since Pop (1975), Design History and the History of Design with Judy Attfield (1990), John Latham: The Incidental Person - His Art and Ideas (1994), Cultural Offensive: America's Impact on British Art since 1945 (1998), Art & Outrage (1999), Supercollector: A Critique of Charles Saatchi with Rita Hatton (2000), Left Shift: Radical Art in 1970s Britain (2001), Art in the Age of Mass Media, Art and Celebrity (2003), and Firefighters in Art and Media: A Pictorial History (2009).

Nathan Wyburn

Nathan Wyburn

Nathan Wyburn is a Welsh variety act artist and media personality who has created celebrity portraits (iconography) and pop culture imagery using non-traditional media such as foodstuffs and other household items, most notably working with Marmite on toast. He has personally created works of art for Prince William & Kate Middleton, His Majesty The King Charles 3rd, Mariah Carey, Dame Shirley Bassey, Catherine Zeta-Jones and The Jacksons.

Evita (1996 film)

Evita (1996 film)

Evita is a 1996 American musical historical drama film based on the 1976 concept album of the same name produced by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, which also inspired a 1978 musical. The film depicts the life of Eva Perón, detailing her beginnings, rise to fame, political career and death at the age of 33. Directed by Alan Parker, and written by Parker and Oliver Stone, Evita stars Madonna as Eva, Jonathan Pryce as Eva's husband Juan Perón, and Antonio Banderas as Ché, an everyman who acts as the film's narrator.

Andrew Logan (sculptor)

Andrew Logan (sculptor)

Andrew Logan is an English sculptor, performance artist, jewellery-maker, and portraitist.

Al Hirschfeld

Al Hirschfeld

Albert Hirschfeld was an American caricaturist best known for his black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars.

Peter Howson

Peter Howson

Peter Howson OBE is a Scottish painter. He was a British official war artist in 1993 during the Bosnian War.

Alan Riach

Alan Riach

Alan Scott Riach is a Scottish poet and academic.

Alberto Gironella

Alberto Gironella

Alberto Gironella (1929–1999) was a self-taught Mexican painter born in Mexico City. Heavily influenced by the politics and artist in Mexico, he showcased his works in Brazil, United States, Spain, France, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland. In Mexico his works were in the Palace of Fine Arts and Museum of Modern Art, and the Carrillo Gil and Rufino Tamayo museums. Gironella also illustrated the book Terra Nostra by Carlos Fuentes. In 1960 he won the first prize of the Paris Biennial for Young Painters and the first prize of the Sixth Biennial of São Paulo, Brazil. Several of his later paintings were nudes, including several with either topless or fully naked women on beds either holding a classical guitar or one shown in the background such as Sanda as Carmen (1985).

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist who rose to success during the 1980s as part of the Neo-expressionism movement.

A Panel of Experts

A Panel of Experts

A Panel of Experts is a painting created by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1982.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was an American visual artist, film director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreening, photography, film, and sculpture. Some of his best-known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell's Soup Cans (1962) and Marilyn Diptych (1962), the experimental films Empire (1964) and Chelsea Girls (1966), and the multimedia events known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1966–67).

Keith Haring

Keith Haring

Keith Allen Haring was an American artist whose pop art emerged from the New York City graffiti subculture of the 1980s. His animated imagery has "become a widely recognized visual language". Much of his work includes sexual allusions that turned into social activism by using the images to advocate for safe sex and AIDS awareness. In addition to solo gallery exhibitions, he participated in renowned national and international group shows such as documenta in Kassel, the Whitney Biennial in New York, the São Paulo Biennial, and the Venice Biennale. The Whitney Museum held a retrospective of his art in 1997.

Source: "Madonna and contemporary arts", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 27th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_and_contemporary_arts.

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