Photo Essays

Instant Takes on the 1980s New York Art World by Maripol

by Hrag Vartanian on February 11, 2014


(all images © Maripol / Le Livre Art Publishing)

Whether you know her as an artist, film producer, fashion designer, or stylist, Maripol had a definitive influence on the downtown New York culture of the 1980s. A new book, Maripola X, gathers 200 of her Polaroid photographs in a limited-edition tome from Le Livre Art Publishing.

Maripol moved to New York in 1976, and her name soon became synonymous with her work styling and designing for Madonna, on the pop singer’s first two albums in the mid-1980s — think black rubber bracelets, jewelry, and crucifixes. Maripol is also associated with two important art films from the 1980s: Crack Is Whack, a documentary about Keith Haring, and Downtown 81, with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Debbie Harry, and others.

Her Polaroids show the imprint that the worlds of pop-culture celebrity and underground experimentation left on her work. They’re an intimate record of her world and her relationships with the people around her.









Maripola X is available on Le Livre Art Publishing’s website.

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  • J. Robert Feld

    The fourth polaroid, by having writing on it, directly anticipated snapchat. It made me recall that before the Polaroid image developed fully, you could manipulate the image by applying pressure. Well done, Maripol.

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