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Madonna Interview : Vanity Fair

This analysis pleases Madonna and she stretches out on the sofa. She looks quite glamorous this evening — the androgynous look is out. She is dressed all in white — white Capri pants and a white sweater, and her hair, too, looks white-blond. Her lips provide the only spot of color — they are bright red. Madonna appears to be striking an elegant yet casual pose, perfectly attired for a low-key gathering at home. She is peppier tonight, more at ease. “Let me give you a tour,” she says, hopping up from the couch. “An art tour.”

Madonna’s home seems to cheer her enormously. The seven-and-a-half-room apartment was renovated and furnished by Christopher Ciccone, and it is lovely — simple, yet lush throughout. The furnishings are mostly early French Deco, and they complement the art, which is primarily Cubist; there are wonderful paintings by the likes of Tamara de Lempicka and Leger and photographs by, among others, Kertész and Weston. “There are a lot of naked women in my house,” says Madonna. In the hall she passes a Kertesz of a nude woman squeezing her stomach. “That’s like me,” she says. “Always looking for fat.”

Madonna is endearingly thorough about the tour (“This is my stereo,” she says, opening a closet). She is like a child showing off her favorite dolls. “This is my prize,” she says of a Picasso that hangs over her desk. “I don’t usually like Dali, but I love this one,” she says of a particularly beautiful painting. The Veiled Heart, which hangs in the living room.

Madonna’s bedroom, a pale jewel box of a room, is at the end of the hall. “Every girl’s dream,” she says, leading the way into an enormous and extremely well-organized closet. “When I lived with Sean, he loved to ball up clothes,” she says, looking at her neat rows of shoes. “I’d say, ‘You twisted a Versace suit into a ball and I can’t bear it.’ I would follow him and take his things and hang them up. He’d say, ‘Leave me alone. I want to do it this way.’ But I just couldn’t stand it.”

Madonna smiles and heads into her bathroom (“The shower has steam!”) and hack through the bedroom and down the hall to her gym, which, not surprisingly, is mutated with state-of-the-an equipment. She goes through the gym and into a small maid’s room and then it’s back into the kitchen, which is old-fashioned in a high-tech way. “Isn’t this great?” Madonna says, reaching for a bowl of popcorn on the kitchen counter. “I don’t cook, but other people do.”

The apartment was completed last summer, long after Madonna’s marriage broke up, and it seems very much a place for one person. It has the feel of a refuge, a controlled, beautiful environment where dirt is a memory and each detail is perfect. “Everything is the best,” says Keshishian, “but nothing is ostentatious.”

And yet, and yet, in every dream home a heartache. “It’s something of a cliche,” says Madonna, sitting on a stool in the kitchen, “but vou can have all the success in the world, and if you don’t have someone to love, it’s certainly not as rewarding. The fulfillment you get from another human being – a child, in particular — will always dwarf people recognizing you on the street.”

Madonna is quiet for a moment. There have been rumors floating about that she was pregnant with Tony Ward’s baby and had a miscarriage. Madonna’s spokesperson has emphatically denied this story. Still, motherhood is definitely on her mind. “I long for children,” she says. “I wish that I was married and in a situation where having a child would be possible. People say, ‘Well, have one on your own.’ I say, ‘Wait a minute. I’m not interested in raising a cripple. I want a father there. I want someone I can depend on.'”

It’s a problem — who is the right guy for Madonna? “We talk about that all the time,” says Keshishian. “I say, ‘Madonna, you could turn a gay man straight! You could have any man you want.’ And she goes, ‘No. I couldn’t. It’s easy for you to say, but it’s just not true. Who have I met?'”

Friends say that she was hopeful about Beatty, who is now going out with Stephanie Seymour, a twenty-two-year-old
model with a baby. And, on the surface, Beatty would seem an attractive prospect, assuming she could have snagged him: intelligent, successful, and unintimidated by Madonna’s fame. But friends say that she was too independent and that her stubbornness was destructive to the relationship. There are also those who say Beatty was only using her to promote his movie.

“I do wonder,” she says, alluding to her past romances. “You know, I can think of isolated moments where I could have given in and it would have made things better. But, all in all, I’m not with any of the people I’m not with for a much larger reason: we just weren’t meant to be. If I had changed and given in, or what I conceived to he giving in, to certain concessions that people had asked of maybe the relationships would have been successful on the one hand, but then I would have had to give up other things in my career. And then I would have been miserable. So it’s hard to say. I mean, I do look around and go, God, it’s great I have fame and fortune, but then I see Mia Farrow on the set with her baby, and I think she seems absolutely content. She has a huge family, and that just seems like the most important thing. And, you know, love and everything. I don’t really have that, but time hasn’t run out for me yet.”

Madonna smiles. “I’m not exactly sure who I’m looking for,” she says. “I wish I knew…” She laughs. “I wonder if I could ever find someone like me.”

She ponders this for a second and then breaks out laughing. “If I did,” she says. “I would probably kill them.”

© Vanity Fair