Madonna has had a knack for riling up the status quo with her art.
And now, at the age of 63, the Material Girl is getting risque once again with her latest collaboration with photographer Steven Klein.
And on Sunday, the legendary singer-songwriter thought she shake things up by holding up a copy of the new photographic creation for V Magazine, as Klein holds a knife to her chin.
‘Disturb the peace’: Madonna, 63, and Steven Klein, 56, reunited once again and tried to shock the social media world by having the photographer point a knife to the pop superstar’s chin
In the photo, Madonna (born Madonna Louise Ciccone) appears to be in a frozen state, standing with her eyes closed and her hands placed on the V Magazine cover work that shows her laying on a bed with are bare derriere on display.
The Vogue star has her long blonde tresses styled in stingy braids and her dark brown roots very visible on the top of her head.
As for Klein, he is staring directly into the camera, with his right arm around the pop superstar, all while flashing a calm grin.
And of course, there’s his left arm and hand that wielding the knife towards her face.
The series of Instagram snaps also includes a photo of Klein licking one of the images from the magazine spread with his tongue, another of Madonna holding up the magazine, a black-and-white shot of her, and a picture of Klein sitting next to Madonna with a pillow in his arms that reads: ‘Mom a title just above queen.’
Proud: The legendary singer-songwriter maintains she’s ‘proud of her collaboration with Steven Klein’, in a reference to their photoshoot for V Magazine
Homage to Marilyn: The V Magazine spread by Madonna and Klein is a homage to Marilyn Monroe’s last photoshoot, Bert Stern’s The Last Sitting , in 1962, six weeks before her death
The four different covers and inside photos in the publication’s new issue #133 were created by Madonna and Klein as an homage to Marilyn Monroe’s very last photoshoot, Bert Stern’s The Last Sitting (1962).
In it, the Ray Of Light singer is seen posing in similar positions to Monroe, who was photographed for the shoot six weeks before she tragically died nearly 60 years ago.
One of her homage photos appears to replicate the actress’ bedroom where she was found dead from an overdose of pills. Plus, Madonna has her platinum tresses styled like Monroe from her heyday in 1940s and 50s.
Los Angeles police concluded her death was ’caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probable suicide.’
Artist: The Material Girl professed that ‘art is not dead’ in her Instagram post
Queen B: Klein references Madonna as having the title of ‘queen’ by holding up that pillow
With those details in mind, some critics on social media have called out Madonna for glamorizing suicide with her homage of photos.
But, in her defense, she maintained that its ‘our job [as artists] is to disturb the status quo.’
‘Proud of my collaboration with @stevenkleinstudio For @vmagazine and knowing that against all odds And with very little support from non artistic people who kept pushing back and the fact that we did it with almost zero budget we were still able to make ART!’ Madonna wrote in the caption of post.
‘Art is not dead if you have the strength to fight for what you believe in !! Thanks to all who did support us and slept on couches and worked long hours and for free all to support madame ❌ who is not only here to disturb the peace but to keep Art alive I send you all a BIG kiss! #Madame❌.’
The V Magazine photoshoot partially replicates Monroe’s bedroom where she was found dead from an overdose of pills in 1962
Backlash: Critics called out Madonna for glamorizing suicide by paying homage to Monroe’s last photoshoot before she reportedly killed herself with a mixture of drugs and alcohol
In her interview for the V Magazine spread with Jeremy O. Harris, the Like A Virgin starlet seemed to proactively address the controversy surrounding the images.
‘The censoring that’s going on in the world right now, that’s pretty frightening. No one’s allowed to speak their mind right now. No one’s allowed to say what they really think about things for fear of being canceled,’ she declared.
‘In cancel culture, disturbing the peace is probably an act of treason. The thing is the quieter you get, the more fearful you get, the more dangerous anything is. We’re giving it power by shutting the f**k up completely.’
For his part, Klein explained the meaning behind the Monroe homage, sharing, ‘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.’
He also expressed his hope to have ‘done justice to the great work of Bert Stern and Marilyn Monroe.’
Nod of respect: The Like A virgin star appeared to style her hair and cloths like Monroe