Japanese artist and photographer Kenji Wakasugi’s new art book Adore reveals an intimate glimpse of Madonna during her early years of fame.
In January 1985, Madonna went to Japan for the first time to promote her infamous Like a Virgin album. At just 27-years old, she was already well on her way to becoming an international sensation and style icon. Meanwhile, Japanese photographer Kenji Wakasugi was given a dream assignment for a local publication: a 45-minute studio sesh with the star, armed only with his camera, one flash unit and a single piece of furniture—a pink, plastic-covered sofa. What transpired was an up-close, personal and captivating photoshoot that fully represented Madonna at that time, right down to her legendary fashion including early Gauthier and Westwood pieces, Maripol designed crucifix jewelry, Boy Toy belt buckle and Healthy Swimmer crop top. Although Wakasugi’s photos were never published, kept in a private collection for over 30 years, they’ve now been released for the limited-edition art book, Adore, available on January 25.
Representing both a visual time capsule and a collector’s item, Adore is a 200-page homage to Madonna that combines the raw images of the young performer – reclining on the sofa, playfully dancing, or candidly staring into the lens – with those of Wakasugi’s own bustling, 1980s nocturnal world. These photographs are punctuated by his depiction of Japanese motifs, a contradiction of culture and nature often seen in his work. The design, including the aqua cover and bold black title, further emphasize his nod to 80s Japanese minimalism.
There are only 800 copies available in print, so if Madonna fans want to get their hands on this one, they should definitely save the date.
Available exclusively at njgstudio.com on January 25
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