“And suddenly this created an intimacy”
On the 20th anniversary of the release of Madonna’s Ray of Light, let’s go back to an interview published by The Daily Telegraph in year 2009, where photographer Mario Testino discusses the second time he worked with Madonna, a collaboration that brought us the iconic album and single covers.
Testino first collaborated with the Queen of Pop for her second ad campaign for Versace in 1995 and the two reunited on November 28, 1997 in a studio in Golden Beach, Florida; the result was a set of stunning portraits that were used for the album artwork and those of two singles – Frozen and Ray of Light. Testino recalls:
It was in 1997, for the cover of her album Ray of Light. At 2pm she said, “OK, I’m tired. We’re done.” And I said, “But I don’t have the pictures yet.” She said, “You’re working for me and I say we’re done.” I said, “No, we carry on.” The picture she used on the cover came after that. She didn’t intimidate me, you see. I thought, I have to push my luck here, so I started kicking her like this, with my foot.” He gives me a demonstration, under the table. She was, like, “Hey, what are you doing?” And I was, like, move here, move here,” and suddenly this created an intimacy. When these people come across someone who treats them as an equal, it puts them at their ease.
Madonna’s Ray of Light was first released in Japan by Maverick and Warner Bros. Records on February 22, 1998.