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Madonna Immortalized in Art


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We all know M was integrated in the New York art scene through her relationship with Jean-Michel Basquiat (who introduced her to Andy Warhol) and her friendship with Keith Haring. She loves art and most people don't know she is a patron of the arts. She sponsored the first retrospective on Basquiat's work at the Whitney in 1992 and Cindy Sherman's retrospective at the MoMA in 1997. I think it would be a good idea to compile all the artworks in which she has been immortalized in, so please add to the list if you know of other works.

 

A Panel of Experts depicts a fight between M and Basquiat's ex-girlfriend Suzanne Mallouk (referred to as Venus). In a jealous rage, Suzanne attacked M one night at a club when she saw her with Basquiat. This painting is owned by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

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In Untitled (Crown) he wrote her name with arrows pointing to "the present" and "my love"

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Her name is written above the cross and above the word orange in this drawing Untitled (Cheese Popcorn). This work is owned by the Brant Foundation.

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This painting was shown in a private collection, I don't know if it's been authenticated by his estate but it was being shown at a private viewing.

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M revealed this drawing a few months ago which depicts a portrait of herself

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Andy Warhol and Keith Haring made 6 paintings as wedding gifts in 1985

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Richard Bernstein did the cover for Warhol's Interview magazine

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30 minutes ago, Luci nln said:

We all know M was integrated in the New York art scene through her relationship with Jean-Michel Basquiat (who introduced her to Andy Warhol) and her friendship with Keith Haring. She loves art and most people don't know she is a patron of the arts. She sponsored the first retrospective on Basquiat's work at the Whitney in 1992 and Cindy Sherman's first major show at the MoMA in 1995. I don't know if this has been done, but I thought it would be a good idea to compile all the artworks in which she has been immortalized in, so please add to the list if you know of other works.

 

A Panel of Experts depicts a fight between M and Basquiat's ex-girlfriend Suzanne Mallouk fighting. In a jealous rage, Suzanne attacked M one night at a club when she saw her with Basquiat. This painting is owned by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

5.-Jean-Michel-Basquiat-A-Panel-of-Exper

 

In Untitled (Crown) he wrote her name with arrows point to "the present" and "my love"

Jean-Michel-Basquiat-Untitled-Crown-1982-Acrylic-ink-and-paper-collage-on-paper-50.8-x-73.66-cm-20-x-29-in-photo-Mark-Woods.com_.thumb.jpg.d1084aee6323f3b0dc913a94331185bd.jpg

crown.thumb.jpg.29c11db912789d3fec5d7020a5c4814e.jpg

 

Her name is mentioned above the cross in this drawing Untitled (Cheese Popcorn). This work is owned by the Brant Foundation.

1NzQANk6LO02_2400x2400.jpg

 

This painting was shown in a private collection, I don't know if it's been authenticated

8630111a8efd903c70d1a81d1da9dc89929bd5a9

 

M revealed this drawing a few months ago which depicts a portrait of herself

7b6ed1c8426344c6be0722116d2745a4_lg.jpg

 

Andy Warhol and Keith Haring made 6 paintings as wedding gifts in 1985

3NsDOdmjCYAgVH2oPayeZjxAFAJMZwpoO1GnsOdo

6e83666818b0f12d89e28ec53714b86a.png

madonna-haring-ashamed-nude-warhol.jpg

madonna-haring-ashamed-nude.jpeg

haring-madonna-warhol-ny-post.jpg

 

Richard Bernstein did the cover for Warhol's Interview magazine

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Love this post!

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On 9/30/2021 at 5:31 AM, TonyMontana said:

@Luci nln The thread is facsinating !i didn't know Basquiat made si many work of art involving Madonna ! their relationship must have been way more intense and serious than we think.

Most biographies mention they had a brief encounter in 1982, but in recent years pictures of them together in 1983, 1984 and 1985 have emerged. I figured their relationship was more serious than a fling when M said she loved him on Howard Stern and then a few years later she commented "My Love" on Guy Oseary's Instagram post of her with Basquiat. I read more about Basquiat and discovered that M had met his family and he flew her to Los Angeles to stay with him while he prepared for his show at the Gagosian Gallery. 

Larry Gagosian said he was so distraught when she broke up to him that he thought Basquiat was going to drink himself to death. He also said Basquiat thought M was the special love of his life. Artist Brett De Palma said Basquiat told him M broke his heart. Another friend also said he never really got over being "seduced and abandoned" by her.

M has always mentioned Basquiat here and there through the years when discussing her early years in NY, but other than the short essay she wrote on him for the Guardian in 1996, she didn't talk much about their relationship until the Rebel Heart era. But in her defense, she hadn't been asked much about him through the years. He's had a resurgence in pop culture and record-breaking sales of his art in the last decade so people are more interested in their relationship and she knows that.

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He actually painted a lot for her as gifts but when they split up he painted over them with black. 

After that they became such good friends again and she supported him through hell before he died, 

There's a huge story between M Basquait and Keith worth a movie alone. Not missing out Erica. While Madonna was zooming up, her private life was desperately sad. Lost so many to you know what and drugs, she spent half her time off at hospices or hospitals seeing her best friends die. Yeah she may have helped with the money (which she has for others, and for others to go through rehab) But so many died. 

Imagine feeling that hole in your heart and you have to go to promo interviews  ect trying to smile saying youre gonna rule the world. There was a LOT of sadness back then. 

That sadness sticks with you, weve all lost people, sometimes they flash back in dreams, sometimes happy sometimes depressing. Im glad she keeps the pics around her homes and heart. 

 

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1 hour ago, Luci nln said:

Most biographies mention they had a brief encounter in 1982, but in recent years pictures of them in 1983, 1984 and 1985 have emerged. I figured their relationship was more serious than a fling when M said she loved him on Howard Stern and then a few years later she commented "My Love" on Guy Oseary's Instagram post of her with Basquiat. I read more about Basquiat and discovered that M had met his family and he flew her to Los Angeles to stay with him while he prepared for his show at the Gagosian Gallery. 

Larry Gagosian said he was so distraught when she broke up to him that he thought Basquiat was going to drink himself to death. He also said Basquiat thought M was the special love of his life. Artist Brett De Palma said Basquiat told him M broke his heart. Another friend also said he never really got over being "seduced and abandoned" by her.

M has always mentioned Basquiat here and there through the years when discussing her early years in NY, but other than the short essay she wrote on him for the Guardian in 1996, she didn't talk much about their relationship until the Rebel Heart era. But in her defense, she hadn't been asked much about him through the years. He's had a resurgence in pop culture and record-breaking sales of his art in the last decade so people are more interested in their relationship and she knows that.

Amazing read. All of this is absolutely facsinating. Don't hesitate to share more stories like that because i love it so much.

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1 hour ago, scallywally said:

He actually painted a lot for her as gifts but when they split up he painted over them with black. 

After that they became such good friends again and she supported him through hell before he died, 

There's a huge story between M Basquait and Keith worth a movie alone. Not missing out Erica. While Madonna was zooming up, her private life was desperately sad. Lost so many to you know what and drugs, she spent half her time off at hospices or hospitals seeing her best friends die. Yeah she may have helped with the money (which she has for others, and for others to go through rehab) But so many died. 

Imagine feeling that hole in your heart and you have to go to promo interviews  ect trying to smile saying youre gonna rule the world. There was a LOT of sadness back then. 

That sadness sticks with you, weve all lost people, sometimes they flash back in dreams, sometimes happy sometimes depressing. Im glad she keeps the pics around her homes and heart. 

 

Yeah actually there was also a lot of sadness behind the curtains that wehad no clue about. Then again she had to face death at a very young age with her mother. Madonna's life is a paradoxe, a juxstaposition of happiness and sadness. To a certain extent it could explain her love of putting together opposite, like Hard Candy, Sticky and sweet, Rebel and Heart etc... Light and darkness is a recurrent topic in her work. 

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On 10/3/2021 at 4:31 PM, TonyMontana said:

Amazing read. All of this is absolutely facsinating. Don't hesitate to share more stories like that because i love it so much.

I've read a lot of stories about them. I'm glad you enjoy them so now I can tell them lol! There's an entire chapter about her in the 1998 biography Basquiat: A Quick Killing In Art. Here's a long excerpt from the book:

By now, Basquiat was indisputably a star in his own right, but his next girlfriend, Madonna, would soon eclipse him.

They went to the same clubs, danced to the same music, and dreamed the same dreams: To be rich, beautiful, outrageous, famous. To meet the right people, make the right connections. It seemed inevitable that their cookie-cutter paths would cross, however briefly. It happened in the fall of 1982.

Several people take responsibility for the introduction. Two members of Gray, Michael Holman and Nick Taylor, say they met her first, at the Mudd Club. Madonna, like Basquiat, enjoyed keeping a number of relationships in the air at a time. She and a friend, Erica Bell, a gorgeous black woman, used to do the club scene, "terrorizing" any attractive male in sight. Recalled Bell in a New York magazine piece, "She would say, 'Rica, I'm the best-looking white girl here, and you are the best-looking black girl here, so let's do it.' Then we'd push people off the dance floor and take over. We'd pick out the cute boys, go right up, and without saying a word kiss them on the mouth. Then we'd take their phone numbers, walk away, and while the guy was still watching, crumple up the number and throw it away." She tried a similar approach with Michael and Nick, who, unbeknownst to her, were roommates.

We met Madonna on the Mudd Club dance floor," says Holman. "She made dates with both of us for the following week, on the same night. On the appointed day, Madonna called Nick. But she got me. And I said, 'What the fuck is this? I thought we were going out together.' And I gave the phone to Nick, who had the same reaction."

They both refused to see her. Madonna, who had the same sort of aggressive sexual intensity as Basquiat, couldn't accept having her advances turned down. She called Nick from Detroit, where she had gone to visit her father. "I said, 'Hey man, you fuckin' jilted me," recalls Taylor.

Madonna rescheduled for the following week. In the meantime, Holman called her up and asked her out, and she again made the date for the same night she was seeing Taylor. So they both went together to meet her at another club, Berlin. "And we just laughed at her!" says Holman.

Taylor ran into Madonna a few more times at the Mudd Club, and became friendly with her. The next time he saw her was at Bowlmor. "It was Retro Night and everybody was dressed like the fifties with greased-back hair."

Basquiat was also hanging out at Bowlmor that night. He arrived in style, chauffeured by Steve Torton in their fifties Plymouth. He had given Taylor a bag of pot to hold on to, and now he came over and asked for a joint. "With Jean, everything was always in massive quantities. So I pull out this big bag of pot, and I offer Madonna a joint. And she said, 'Do you always carry that much pot?'" recalls Taylor. "The whole time, Jean and her were checking each other out. So I introduced them. They really hit it off. They were really cute together. It was right after that she came out with that song 'Everybody.'"

Ed Steinberg, who produced the "Everybody" video, has a different story....Steinberg had known Basquiat for several years.... Steinberg also knew Madonna—he had met her when she was an extra in a music video he had made. One night we were at Lucky Strike, on Stuyvesant Place. I was talking to Madonna and I went over to say hello to Jean-Michel. Then he left. She said, 'Who is that guy? I want to meet him.' Madonna didn't have a fixed address at the time, so I had them both come to my place. They started hanging out together after that."

"A desired sexual effect . . . Six of us courting an American madonna,” Basquiat wrote in one of the notebooks published by Larry Warsh in 1993. Before long, Madonna was staying at Crosby Street. Even then, she had a strict regimen; she got up early, exercised strenuously, and ate health food. She and Basquiat may have had the same ambitious aspirations, but their styles could not have been more different. "I remember being over there one time when everybody was doing drugs and Madonna was eating these brand-new things that I had never seen before, carrot chips," says Eszter Balint. "We were supposed to go see Madonna at some club where Jellybean [Benitez] was deejaying, but Jean was so stoned that he couldn't go. He wanted to take a bath, and he asked me to stay with him, in case he passed out."

It was at this point that Anna Taylor started seeing missives from Madonna all over the loft. "Little notes in pink ink and perfectly slanted handwriting," she recalls. "Very girlish. The kind of thing you notice from across the room. Always very businesslike, like, 'had to go.'" But it wasn’t until she had seen Madonna with Basquiat at his Fun show opening that Taylor realized they were an item.

Steve Torton was used to seeing new women in Jean-Michel's bed on a regular basis. "One day I came over to the loft and Jean-Michel was all excited, and he said, 'Guess who I slept with last night?' He got really pissed off when I told him I had never heard of Madonna." Torton took several rolls of film of the couple playing silly games with an artichoke. Torton would drive them to Barbetta's, Basquiat’s favorite Italian restaurant, and to Lucky Strike. Once Gerard Basquiat, who tended to appear in his son's life when things were looking up, took Madonna and Jean-Michel to One Fifth Avenue for lunch. 

At one point, Madonna threw a party at the Crosby Street loft. "That's the first time I met A-1, EZG, Ram, and Toxic, all those graffiti kids from Fashion Moda," says Nick Taylor. "Everyone [except Madonna] was getting stoned on angel dust. Madonna turned on the tape machine and everybody jammed. I remember around that time Madonna lived on Fourth Street between A and B. It was a really sleazy neighborhood, filled with street gangsters. She had these two little Hispanic kids that were kind of her bodyguards. She'd bring them everywhere, to Lucky Strike, to Bond's, the Mudd Club."

Taylor recalls a dinner at Barbetta's with Basquiat and Madonna. "Jean was this male chauvinist, and Madonna was into sexual energy. The relationship was kind of like an act for both of them in a way," he says. "It was before these two people were so famous, but it was like a regal, arranged marriage."

Meanwhile, Mallouk, who had "left Jean-Michel I don't know which of the many numerous times," picked up a Village Voice and saw a picture of Madonna—wearing her coat. "I realized she must have been staying at the loft."

That Thanksgiving, Basquiat brought Madonna to Glenn O'Brien's place on Mott Street. "He had told me about her. He said he had this girlfriend that was going to be a great singer. Then he just showed up with her," says O'Brien. "I thought she was black when she walked in, because she had what she later told me was the only suntan she had ever had in her life. Her hair was dark, and it was done in kind of dreadlocks style. She was very sweet. When I talked to her about it later, all she remembered is that Jean and I smoked about a million joints."

Basquiat went back to L.A. that December, and Madonna soon joined him. "I picked her up at the airport for him," says [Matt] Dike, "and drove her to Larry's and they got into a big fight about something right away. I had the car, so I'd drive her around town.

Like Basquiat, Madonna had a relentlessly roving eye. "I thought she was this ugly little tomboy girl. But she was very nice to me," says Dike. "She was sort of coming on to me, and Jean-Michel got mad. I had a big fight with him about it. They had gone out before he came out here and he was really psyched about her."

Kenny Scharf remembers Madonna vamping in Basquiat's bed, above which he had nailed a photograph of Warhol torn out of the newspaper...."I was in L.A., and I knew he was staying at Gagosian's," he recalls. "This was one of my overtures of friendliness. I called him up and said I wanted to come visit. When I got there, he was just hanging out, and Madonna was lying in bed, acting like this vixen. Then Jean left the room, leaving me alone with her. And she was being incredibly seductive. I thought it was really weird. I was like, 'What is this about? This is his girlfriend.'"

But Madonna impressed Gagosian with her businesslike attitude. She and Basquiat were staying at Gagosian’s place on Market Street in Venice, just down from Tony Bill's restaurant. Basquiat slept half the day, but Madonna kept her routine. "She's a very disciplined woman. She would be on the phone in the morning to the agent and doing yoga and running on the beach, and she didn't do any drugs," he says.

"Jean-Michel told me she was going to be a big star, which was perceptive, because at the time she was just starting out. It was during that period when she wore those crosses, and she was not this aerobic kind of monster. She was a softer Madonna.

"I remember on Christmas Day I took them over to my mother's house in the Valley, and my other had never seen Basquiat or Madonna before. When they walked into her kitchen, she was about ready to call the police," says Gagosian.

Madonna had her own worries; having safe sex with Basquiat was a primary concern. "I remember Christmas Day as being beautiful but frustratingly warm," Gagosian continues. "We were out at this beach house, and Madonna had the Yellow Pages in her lap and she was feverishly looking for a pharmacy that would deliver condoms to Malibu on Christmas Day. They were just striking out, calling one after another. Most of them were closed. I think they finally had to buy about two hundred dollars' worth. I don't think Basquiat really knew how to use them. He was sort of fascinated with their objectness. Like they were cult things, like tribal art.

According to Gagosian, Madonna stayed in Los Angeles from six to eight weeks. "I think that most of their relationship took place out here, because after she got back to New York, she took up with Jellybean [Benitez] again. Jean-Michel was extremely distraught about it. Because people rarely left him. He almost drank himself to death."

Basquiat was so upset that Fred Hoffman, who copublished some Basquiat prints, and had spent a lot of time with the artist, had to come to his rescue one night. Recalls Gagosian, "He had to put him in the shower and walk him around, because he'd consumed a bottle and a half of rum in half an hour or something like that, trying to kill himself with booze. He was very, very despondent over Madonna going back to Jellybean and basically ending their relationship, because he really thought this was a special love of his life. I think he felt she was an equal, somebody who really had her own career, and he was impressed by the fact that she was a professional."

Back in New York, Madonna told several people that she couldn't stay with Basquiat because of his drug problem. She complained to Torton about Jean-Michel's vampire hours. "She said he never woke up before four or five in the afternoon and she never saw the sun. She said she couldn't take it. I saw her at Bond’s and I said, 'How’s Jean?' and she said, 'He's on dope. I went over there tonight and he was nodding out on heroin. I'm not having anything to do with that.' She moved out, just like that, totally emotionless." At one point, she showed up to collect her things, surprising Balint, who was in Basquiat’s bed at the time.

Brett De Palma remembers Basquiat's reaction to Madonna's dumping him. "I met her with him one night, and then the next day he said, 'Oh man, she broke my heart, man. She broke my heart.' I asked him what happened and he said, "She wrote me a note and said it was all a big mistake. It wasn’t meant to be.' It was kind of like she was on a faster ride than he was."

 

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Love this thread. Thank you.

On 9/30/2021 at 6:24 AM, Luci nln said:

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Love these as well. Was lucky enough to see 2 of them at an exhibition in Melbourne a few years ago about Basquiat and Haring. I  knew there would be Madonna mentioned, but was so happy to see her well featured, including a video of her singing DYU at Haring's birthday.

Anyone know where you can buy fine prints of these works, I would love to have a poster of one of them in my house.

 

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@TonyMontana I don't know if you saw my post from yesterday, but I've got more stories for you from different sources.

John Lurie released his memoir The History of Bones: A Memoir this year and he mentioned this tidbit about M (he calls Basquiat Willie short for Willie Mays): 

Danny and I go over to see him at his new loft on Crosby Street that was supplied to him by his gallery. There is a girl hanging around, smiling out from his bed. I'd never actually seen Willie with a girl like that before. Where she was actually there with him and not told to leave before we arrived. 

Danny is telling this girl how great her show was the other night at the Mudd Club. I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. I guessed she was a singer....I didn't think much about her. She later turned out to be Madonna. Funny thing with Madonna, how she can look awful with that nose crooking down and then you see her and, wow, she is an exquisite beauty. This isn't video lighting. It happens in real life. She just changes.

Six months later, I'm with Tony Garnier, who gives me a chaw of chewing tobacco to try. We're standing on the corner of First Avenue and Seventh Street. "Don't swallow the juice." "Of course, I won't swallow the juice."

I've got this enormous was of tobacco in my mouth, and I'm spitting into the gutter when this young woman comes up behind me and says, "Hi," all flirty.

She is stunning, but I don't know who the hell she is and she can see this from my face. But she is really nice looking. I don't want to spit the tobacco juice out on the street, so I swallow it.

"I'm Madonna, I used to go out with Jean-Michel."

Swallowing the tobacco is making the shit just burn me up and I can't really carry on a conversation. I want to gasp for air but won't do it in front of this beautiful girl. She mistakes my not talking for disinterest and walks away.

 

Patti Astor, co-founder of the Fun gallery, where Basquiat had an exhibit in November 1982, mentioned M in her memoir Fun Gallery… the True Story (2013):

Jean was seeing the young singer Madonna at the time and they spent most of the night huddled in corners having a hissing vituperative fight. At one point Bill Stelling and I were trapped in the tiny closet we grandly called "our back room." We had retreated there to do a couple lines of coke and get away from the mob. JM and Madonna were leaning against the door arguing and we heard the whole thing. She had given a huge party in Jean-Michel's loft while he was out of town, telling everyone it was hers and letting them drink all his booze. He was furious. Madonna was well known on the scene as a total slut. Madonna's claim to fame, besides her hit song "Holiday," was the blow-jobs she would give in the men's bathroom. Still, I guess it paid off for her.

 

Actress and Musician Eszter Balint was one of Basquiat's lovers and she told a story in the book Basquiat; A Quick Killing in Art (1998): 

Balint continued to be friends and occasionally lovers with Basquiat, but they were never again as close. Balint woke up one morning after spending the night with Basquiat to find Madonna in the loft. She had dropped by to pick up some of her things. "I stayed in the bedroom," says Balint. "It was sort of a soap opera. He loved to have one woman discover him in bed with another woman."

 

Diego Cortez obituary

Diego Cortez, co-founder of the Mudd Club, said M asked him to be her manager. It's also mentioned in his obituary. He died this past June. He curated the influential post-punk art show New York/New Wave at MoMA PS1, which catapulted Basquiat to fame in 1981. In an interview with U+MAG he was asked about M.

Mateus Lages: I read that you turned down an offer to manage Madonna

Diego Cortez: Yes. I had worked as a manager for some punk bands, also as an agent to Jean-Michel Basquiat. In 1982 he brought his then-girlfriend, Madonna, to my tiny apartment at Henry Geldzahlers building in the West Village. Jean said I want you to make Madonna as famous as you made me. I was amused and skeptical. She played her demo cassette of 3 tracks, Holiday, Like a Virgin and one other, all good. I asked if she had a band and planned to tour. She said No, I want to travel the country playing at gay discos lip-synching to my songs. I said, So what do you want me to do, push the button on the cassette player? It didn't work out. I told her I wanted to curate art shows and not work in the music scene anymore.

 

How Madonna Became Madonna: An Oral History

In 2013, Rolling Stone published an article about the oral history of her debut album. Reggie Lucus said he met with Madonna at Jean's loft and brought her the songs "Physical Attraction" and "Borderline." 

Reggie Lucas: She was poor. She borrowed Jean-Michel Basquiat’s apartment while he was in Paris, and so I spent a good hour and a half during the record meeting with her at Basquiat’s place. He had his art up there, nobody knew who he was. We had a fun experience. There was no committee rendering judgment from on high, because she was brand new and frankly nobody cared about her that much. And she had a sense of direction.

 

Larry Gagosian

In 2012, Larry Gagosian was asked about M in his interview with Interview magazine:  

BRANT: Jean-Michel was hanging out with Madonna at that point, right?

GAGOSIAN: Well, that’s interesting because everything was going along fine—Jean-Michel was making paintings, I was selling them, and we were having a lot of fun. But then one day Jean-Michel said, “My girlfriend is coming to stay with me.” I was a little concerned-one too many eggs can spoil an omelet, you know? So I said, “Well, what’s she like?” And he said, “Her name is Madonna and she’s going to be huge.” I’ll never forget that he said that. So Madonna came out and stayed for a few months, and we all got along like one big, happy family. There was a guy named John Seed, who was Jean’s assistant, and he was, like, our cook. He was a great cook.

BRANT: You used to drive Jean-Michel around, right?

GAGOSIAN: Used to drive him around . . . But I lost my license or something at one point, and Madonna actually became our driver for a while. Madonna drove us around. [both laugh] But she was no joke. Even then you could see the discipline and focus and ambition. She’d go running every morning. She’d do yoga. She’d be on the phone with her people. You got the sense she was serious. I wouldn’t say that we’re really friends anymore, but whenever I see her, we have this nice history.

 

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This painting is titled 'Heavier Than Heaven' by Emirati artist Rashed Al Mansoori. It's owned by Michael Davis, chief executive of NMC Healthcare. I saw it in an article about his art collection: 

"The pastel pink canvas is filled with pop icons including Madonna, Lady Diana, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Tupac and Prince, figures from the Arab world, including 1940s Egyptian movie star Asmahan and singer Jaber Jassim, as well as – somewhat bizarrely – Joan of Arc and JonBenet Ramsey.

'The piece is called Heavier Than Heaven, and it’s the one I get the most questions about,' says Davis. 'It depicts certain people who impacted the artist’s youth, many of whom were pop icons for me as well, even though I am much older than the artist.'"

Source

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