No matter what pop is dominating the charts today, Madonna remains the undisputed Queen of Pop who continues to inspire, encourage and entertain millions of people (and many of her younger peers) around the world. It's been thirty years since the release of her self-titled debut album that kicked off her groundbreaking career and changed the world of pop music forever.
New York City's famed Milk Gallery is celebrating Madonna's early years in New York City with a special exhibit of photographs of the pop superstar that were taken by Richard Corman.The collection of 50+ photos comes along with candid commentary by the photographer that provides more insight into the life of Madonna before her rise to fame in a city that was a rich breeding ground for new ideas, music and talent.
A recurring theme in Corman's commentary is Madonna's charisma and star quality that was instantly palpable for the people that came in contact with her. Particularly telling is his story about meeting Madonna for the first time when he went to visit the pop icon to be in her tiny apartment on Manhattan's gritty Lower East Side. "There was a group of guys hanging outside of her building, and she leaned over the banister and yelled down from the fourth floor and the seas just parted. I saw those eyes, and at that point it was clear to me that I was walking up into something of infamy – there was some kind of magic there and she didn’t disappoint."
The early 1980s was an incredibly thriving time in New York City that has influenced the work of Madonna up until today. After moving from Michigan to New York City, the pop superstar immersed herself in New York's underground club culture that was a vibrant blend of punk, disco and hip hop, and turned out to be a rich breeding ground for cultural and artistic innovation.
In addition to telling Madonna's early story, Corman's photography also captures the excitement of New York City in 1983. Milk Gallery writes on their web site: "[The photos] capture not only Madonna’s rebellious spirit but also the mood of the cultural revolution sweeping through the city’s youth."
Corman says, "It was a time in the city where the energy was just crazy wonderful. It was this carnival of creativity going on, especially downtown, and you just felt it. At that time I was leaving Avedon’s studio and going out on my own and I was photographing the Keith Harings and the Basquiats and the Madonnas and the punk scene. It was original, it was unique and it was on fire."
If you have a chance to see the exhibit or plan to go see it, I would love to hear from you. The Madonna NYC83 exhibit runs November 15 to December 15, 2013.
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