V133: Madonna Forever – Out Now
After the release of her Madame X film chronicling the tour of her 14th studio album, Madonna is back on the cover of V Magazine, styled by longtime collaborator B. Åkerlund and captured through the lens of photographer Steven Klein in an homage to the glamour and tragedy of cinema star Marilyn Monroe.
In conversation with American playwright Jeremy O. Harris, Madonna – who the magazine calls the prophet of pop – discusses her 40+ year long career, the inspiration behind her Madame X album, and how her incomparable fearlessness has fueled her longevity in show business.
From the online website of V Magazine:
The visionary changed pop as we know it, in a 40-year career powered by constant innovation. And, as her new concert film Madame X shows, she is as fearless as ever. Here she is captured by Steven Klein in an homage to the glamor and tragedy of Marilyn Monroe inspired by Bert Stern’s The Last Sitting, the photoshoot Marilyn sat for just before her tragic death.
Steven Klein explains:
This photo essay was inspired by a shoot that Marilyn Monroe did with photographer Bert Stern titled “The Last Sitting.” They shot at the Bel Air hotel in 1962, before she passed away. What was supposed to be a three-hour sitting, turned into a three-day whirlwind, working night and day. Drinking, laughing, shooting photos, editing, sleeping, and then taking more photos–a private affair between two artists which rarely happens anymore. We were not interested in recreating the images exactly but more importantly, we wanted to explore the relationship between photographer and subject. Both the friendship and the artistic process, and how art can imitate life and vice versa. When I sent Madonna the photos she was really taken by the incandescent fragility of Marilyn at that moment in her life. We decided to find a hotel suite and try to capture the liaison between a star and the camera, the mystery, and magic of this creative collaboration. We hope we have done justice to the great work of Bert Stern and Marilyn Monroe.
Madonna and Jeremy O. Harris are friends and collaborators who share a common ethos – V writes: a desire to make us look differently at the world. Their epochal work – in the respective fields of music and theater – tests boundaries, asks questions, and is, to quote a 2015 Madonna song, always unapologetic. On a September evening in L.A., the pair met up to discuss Madonna’s new Madame X film, the power of art to create change, and why, more than ever, bold storytelling is crucial.
Click here to read the complete interview and check more images from this cover story appearing in V133, hitting the newsstands this weekend.
From V133 Winter 2021
- Photography: Steven Klein
- Fashion: B. Åkerlund
- Interview: Jeremy O. Harris
- Makeup: Kali Kennedy
- Hair: Andy Lecompte
- Nails: Naomi Yasuda
- Casting: Greg Krelenstein
- Editors: Czar Van Gaal / Kevin Ponce / Owen Myers
- Location: The St Regis New York
- Set Design: Jack Flanagan
- Production: That One Production
- Content/BTS: Ricardo Gomes / Ryan Drake