Madonna x Pride
If Madonna Calls: More Exclusive Polaroids From Madonna’s Pride Video
Earlier this week, our Creative Director Mel Ottenberg sat down with the Madonna collaborator Ricardo Gomes for a sneak peek of “No Fear, No Courage, Resist:” a multimedia art installation co-directed by Sasha Kasiuha that debuted in a Times Square takeover last night. They also sifted through tons of BTS Polaroids (you’re welcome) and kiki’d about our darling M.
MEL OTTENBERG: Hi, Ricardo.
RICARDO GOMES: Hi, Mel.
OTTENBERG: Do you believe in the power of love?
GOMES: I definitely do.
OTTENBERG: Do you think Madonna does?
GOMES: For sure.
OTTENBERG: Do you think she partially invented it?
GOMES: Yes. And she keeps reinventing it.
OTTENBERG: She did for me. I’ve been a lifetime, insane Madonna fan. And I’m excited to be looking at all these new Madonna Polaroids that no one’s seen yet and getting a sneak peek of her Pride video. So, thanks.
GOMES: You’re welcome.
OTTENBERG: What was the concept for the video? Because it’s really fab.
GOMES: The video started from an idea of expressing freedom and love. Everyone should be free to love who they love.
OTTENBERG: New York really does love Madonna. It’s something that people are really talking about. Wait, what’s the deal with Rita? I love how she styles Madonna. It’s so cute.
GOMES: Rita has been in my life and in M’s life since the beginning of the tour. She’s great. M is very particular in who she brings into her creative life. And everyone that worked on this video, it’s people that, to me, are super talented. Andy [Lecompte] is great with hair.
OTTENBERG: Oh, Andy did the hair?
OTTENBERG: Andy’s great. The wig is laid with Andy.
GOMES: And Kali Kennedy did the makeup, she’s also great.
OTTENBERG: Love. She’s so good.
GOMES: Rita did the styling and Sasha [Kasiuha] directed the video with me. We all have different visions of things, but we all put it together in the right way with M. That’s just so incredible, how creative minds can think in different ways, but everything comes together in one piece.
OTTENBERG: Did you guys have a clear vision of what you guys wanted to give with these Pride visuals, or did you guys just have fun, mix it up and give it to the people?
GOMES: My main request from the beginning was to be sexy and powerful because that’s how I see her. Then I wanted a message behind it, not just a girl with her boobs out, dancing around.
OTTENBERG: The Hustler t-shirt she’s wearing is genius because this motherfucker is still hustling the hardest. And she still has the best boobs in the world. I can’t even believe I’m looking at these unretouched Polaroids and these boobs are still so beyond. As a fan that is very up on every Madonna look that she has ever worn, I’m feeling some self-referential moments in these looks. I’m feeling things like Susan in Penn Station bathroom mixed with the “Hollywood” video and V/Steven Klein/Katy Perry.
GOMES: It’s very important to celebrate Pride, and the hustling for freedom, and expressing yourself the right way, and knowing the rights for all LGBTQ people. Pride is about a celebration of freedom.
OTTENBERG: It’s cool that she got Times Square to turn off what they’re doing and all of the commodities that they’re running and give her message.
GOMES: With no advertisement.
OTTENBERG: Madonna does so much charitable work, and there’s a lot of charity that is part of the mission this week. Can you tell me a little about that?
GOMES: We have three main ones which are Haus of Us, The Door, and Ali Forney. Those are the main charity institutions that we’re working with. She’s auctioning Polaroids, at least six, for these institutions. So we’re auctioning three at the party and three online.
OTTENBERG: Amazing. What music were you guys listening to while you were making this?
GOMES: We were listening to a playlist on Spotify called “’90s House Classics.”
OTTENBERG: What’s the ’90s house classic that M loves the most?
GOMES: “Good Life,” by Inner City, for sure. That’s the main one.
OTTENBERG: “LET ME TAKE YOU TO A PLACE I KNOW YOU WANT TO GO IS THE GOOD LIFE.”
GOMES: Yep, that’s it.
OTTENBERG: Okay. One more question. I’ve gotten in trouble on Instagram before trying to talk about this because everybody’s got a serious opinion, but for you and the glam team, which do you think is the best Madonna album? There’s no right answer, this is a safe space so tell me the answer.
GOMES: So tour-wise, my favorite is Confessions on a Dancefloor. And then my favorite album is actually Ray of Light.
OTTENBERG: I respect that. My favorite tour is Blonde Ambition because my parents took me and my siblings when we were 10, 11 and 14. Thank god, because they knew it was major and we had to see it. Speaking of gay pride, it was the first time I saw a bunch of gay people together and they were all wearing like Daisy Dukes. I was like, “Wow.” My favorite Madonna album is a three-way tie between True Blue and Erotica and Confessions on a Dance Floor. How did you and Madonna meet?
GOMES: We met through Nuno Xico who is someone that’s been working with her for about eight years.
GOMES: As a filmmaker, director, whatever you want to call it. He’s been working with her for eight years. He did most edits from the big shoots that she did with all the photographers. He edited everything, all the videos. So he’s behind her. He’s an important person also in her life.He hired me to photograph the Madam X documentary that we filmed in Lisbon in 2019. And he hired me and then I worked with her for that shoot. I went back to Paris because I was living there at the time. They called me back in March and wanted to hire me to follow her on tour and photograph everything. Since then, I’ve been pretty much the only person that photographs and films all her daily life.
OTTENBERG: I love it. And thanks for breaking it down for us.
GOMES: Thank you for wanting me to break it down.
OTTENBERG: Okay, cool. Bye.