lucky star

The Queen of Pop, In All Her Glory

All photographs courtesy Kenji Wakasugi.

To find new words to describe the importance of Madonna Louise Ciccone is a nearly impossible task. That’s why a photo book tells you all you need. The inimitable rebel energy of Madonna is on display in Adore Madonna, a new photo book by the Japanese photographer Kenji Wakasugi (out today  on NJG). The monograph contains never-before-seen images from a 45-minute shoot in 1985 for Playboy Weekly Excite during her Madgesty’s first visit to Japan, commemorating the success of her breakthrough album Like a Virgin.

Adore Madonna is a testament to the everlasting power of the Queen of Pop, not only as a musical supernova but also as a symbol of fame, self-empowerment, and sexual liberation, as she models Vivienne Westwood, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and her signature bedazzled “boy toy” belt. The images captured that day by Wakasugi remind us that despite the passing of time, nobody does it like Madonna. “It is almost a miracle that 36 years later, they now became this art book,” the photographer told Interview. “There she was, inside my camera. Thank you, Madonna.” As all things related to the queen, the book is rare. There are only 800 limited-edition copies, with 100 featuring Wakasugi’s signature and a numbered digital print. Below, a few of the images from that fateful day in Tokyo, when Wakasugi captured a star in the early days of her journey to change the world.