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Madonna Channels Jesus at All-Female Last Supper, Talks ‘Celebration Tour,’ Biopic For Vanity Fair ‘Icon Issue’

todayJanuary 18, 2023

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Madonna is used to making history, but in a first, the singer adorns the cover of three different editions of Vanity Fair in Italy, Spain and France this month in the kick-off to the new annual “Icon Issue” project celebrating legends who “contribute[s] to shape the modern culture.”

The massive project includes a sprawling portfolio of pictures created by photographers Luigi & Iango that expresses the “values Madonna has defended throughout her artistic path and iconography,” beginning with a provocative cover image of the singer as a weeping Virgin Mary, complete with a sword-pierced heart on the outside of her chest and another in which she plays a Jesus at an all-female Last Supper.

In a preview, the magazine said the two-day shoot for the piece involved more than 80 collaborators, noting that it will also spin off a future exhibition, a short movie and an urban art performance. In keeping with her haute history, Madonna was dressed for the shoot in designs by John Galliano for Maison Margiela, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier and others under the direction of her regular collaborator, Swedish stylist B. Åkerlund.

In an exclusive interview for the piece, Madonna talks about feminism, sexuality, religion and diversity, with a focus on her career-long battle against the patriarchy and the price she’s had to pay for sticking to her guns over the past four decades in the public eye.

The day after announcing the dates for her upcoming 40th anniversary “Celebration Tour,” the singer discusses her return to the stage and the plans for her long in-the-works biopic. “I’m about to create another show, and I’ve been working for several years on the screenplay about my life,” the singer told the magazine. “This is a good time for me — I’m gathering ideas, getting inspired, hanging out with creative people, watching films, seeing art, listening to music.”

The 35-city Live Nation-produced tour will kick off in North America on July 15 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC and hit Detroit, Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas and San Francisco before wrapping up in Las Vegas on Oct. 7. The outing will then move on to Europe, starting with a date in London at the O2 Arena on Oct. 14 and winding down in Amsterdam on Dec. 1 at the Ziggo Dome. No release date or title has been announced so far for the biopic.

“Madonna’s career has a biblical dimension, a universal scope,” Galliano told the magazine. “The first time I saw her, she was already inspired, fearless, with integrity and artistic pride.” VF‘s European editorial director Simone Marchetti, who conducted the interview, added, “Madonna accepted not only to be part of a fashion shoot but on an artistic project that is the representation of the values that she embodied in the last 40 years. Each image is like a reflection on Madonna’s extraordinary contribution to the culture of the last decades. Those pages are the milestones of a discussion, a progress and a commitment that does not stop here. A commitment that we strive to tell, explain and illustrate in every issue of Vanity Fair.

Images from the shoot will be part of a Sept. exhibition by Luigi & Iango at the Palazzo Reale Museum in Milan; the Italian edition of VF hits newsstands today, followed by the Spain and France editions on Jan. 25.

Check out more images from the shoot below.

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todayJanuary 18, 2023

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