Ahead of the release of her upcoming studio album Madame X, Madonna has left many of her fans divided after sharing a NSFW piece of art.
The explicit painting in question was posted by the Like a Virgin singer on Wednesday. It drew a lot of attention as it depicts a woman’s breasts with a rose pierced through the right nipple.
“Portrait of a Lady,” wrote Madonna, 60, in the caption, adding the release date of her highly anticipated album.
Many fans were upset, as they claimed the singer was using sexual imagery to “sell” her music, while others saw it as an empowering statement made against “sexists.”
“You don’t need to use skin/sex to sell your music,” wrote one fan in the comments on the post. “I hope this is the album cover,” wrote another on Twitter.
“This would certainly spark outrage among all the sexist, ageist, non-creative, conservatives out there,” read another comment. “It’s time we say no to conformity and yes to freedom.”
“Oh dear,” wrote another Twitter user. “Don’t stoop so low hoping to get attention by posting boobies… So cringeworthy.”
“They’re just nipples,” read an additional comment. “Get a life.”
“Sex sells. This is all she has to offer us now,” claimed a different Instagram user.
“Would you want your daughter to publish this kind [sic] of herself publicly?” asked another.
Madonna performs onstage during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nev.
While a number of fans fought over their opinions of the artwork, many of them, fans or not, questioned why the post wasn’t censored by Instagram and proceeded to report the image.
“I reported you,” wrote multiple people.
“This is beautiful,” said another, “but can anyone tell me why this photo isn’t being censored when photos of women breastfeeding their babies are?”
In addition to the controversy surrounding the taboo contents of the image, an influx of fans called out Madonna for not crediting the artist behind the piece.
A Turkish artist named Aykut Aydogdu originally painted the piece and shared it to Instagram in July of 2017. In Madonna’s post, however, the words Madame X are plastered over the art.
“This artwork belongs to @aykutmaykut,” wrote one user. “Please give him credit and ask for his permission. Pay him if you are gonna use his work,” they continued. “[That’s] unethical of you.”
“This is @aykutmaykut‘s original artwork,” said another, “and they even erased the watermark. So embarrassing.”
It’s currently unclear whether the Like a Prayer singer had permission to use the piece; however, shortly after the backlash began, Aydogdu’s Instagram page was tagged in the post.
“Madonna, you are an artist,” added an additional user. “You called Lady Gaga ‘reductive’ because in your opinion she stole your song (which is not the case), but now you stole @aykutmaykut’s art… What changed now?”
It’s currently unclear whether Aydogdu’s piece will be used for an upcoming Madonna single, merchandise or physical editions of the Madame X album.
Madonna performs in concert at Rod Laver Arena on March 12, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
Madame X serves as Madonna’s 14th studio album. It’s set for a worldwide release Friday, June 14 through Interscope Records.
The album can now be preordered and saved through the official Madonna website.
Madame X tracklist:
Global News has reached out to both Aykut Aydogdu and Universal Music Group seeking confirmation that Madonna had the rights to use the artwork.
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