Apollo
Rakewell

Immaterial girl – Madonna enters the metaverse

15 May 2022

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Everyone is making NFTs these days and it’s fair to say that Rakewell is feeling a little jaded about the constant stream of new projects – and of the consequent struggle, when your roving correspondent can be bothered, to work out what is actually for sale. However, the recent announcement that Madonna has collaborated with Beeple on 3 NFT works couldn’t help but raise a flicker of interest. Launched on the new NFT platform SuperRare, three videos of the artist, described as a triptych and titled Mother of Creation, depict the singer giving birth to butterflies in Mother of Evolution; to what look like centipedes in Mother of Technology; and, finally, to a tree in Mother of Nature. The sale ended on Friday 13th May – certainly an unlucky day for Rakewell, who missed her chance to acquire this puzzling piece of art.

‘I’m giving birth to art and creativity!’ Madonna has said about the project. The singer’s embrace of motherhood in her pop persona, in addition to her adoption of the role in real life, dates back to the Ray of Light album (1998). Nearly a quarter of a century later, the Gaia-like Madonna in Mother of Creation is based on a 3D scan of the singer and the rather unearthly results, we have to admit, aren’t a million miles away from the real thing. Rakewell is slightly baffled that Mother of Nature fetched more than twice as much as the other two works, but who are we to judge? We are, however, delighted by what passes for an expression on the face of Madonna of the NFT. A mixture of derision and irritation, it reminds Rakewell of nothing so much as the singer’s disassociating stare when Courtney Love crashed her interview during the MTV Music Video Awards in 1995. At around the 3-minute mark, it becomes obvious that Madonna has never needed state-of-the-art technology to achieve a really frozen look.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.

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