Madonna in 1998 by John Berkey
This original casein on board published illustration painting shows the singer Madonna as a celestial being standing in the middle of a classic John Berkey starscape. With her arms outstretched, she appears to bring light to a universe filled with space junk. The illustration was created to accompany an article in the January 1999 issue of Spin magazine about faddish spirituality in pop music and culture.
This trend reached an apex with Madonna’s appearance at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards, where she began a performance of her hit song “Ray of Light” by singing the Sanskrit chant that opens Ashtanga yoga practices. She performed with a number of dancers in traditional Indian costuming. The performance was considered groundbreaking and offended many, or in other words, it was classic Madonna.
About the artist: John Berkey (1932-2008)
Painter John Berkey was unquestionably one of the leading figures working during the golden era of science fiction. Most identified with his posters for the original Star Wars film, Berkey’s work was instrumental creating the image we have in our minds eye when we picture “outer space.” A prolific illustrator of sci-fi book covers, the technically adept artist also was employed by everyone from Popular Mechanics to Time magazine and even NASA to create cutting edge technologically forward looking illustrations.