Maripol Shot Rock: The Photographer On Her Polaroid of Madonna

 © Maripol, Madonna, Danceteria, New York City, 1983
Maripol with son, Lino

By Maripol

When I arrived in New York from France, still fresh from the École des Beaux-Arts school of arts, I didn’t have a clue what an artist was supposed to do. Being a girl, I loved fashion and I loved to make accessories. I also really loved to snap photos with my Polaroid SX 70 camera. It was pretty much like my clutch bag.

I first met Madonna one night in 1983, a time when the music scene was amidst change: disco had just died, Hip-hop and rap were on the rise and clubs like the Roxy and Danceteria were showcasing a great mix of performers.

On that night, Fab 5 Freddy was about to take the stage at the Roxy and he asked me to recruit some cute girls to dance with him up on stage. I spotted Madonna, whom I knew from the city’s club scene, hanging out with my good friend Jean-Michel Basquiat. I asked her if she was wearing a nice bra and if she minded taking her top off to dance on stage. She thought I was out of my mind…and the rest is history.

I shot this Polaroid right before Madonna’s own performance in 1983 - at Danceteria. She was very young but just as gorgeous as she still is today. There is only one Polaroid like it that captures this moment. I love the way she looks at me and also love seeing her lips through the glass while she drank (her favorite drink was a dry Martini). The cigarette in the photo is not lit. We all smoked back then but we also liked them for attitude.

The image captures a couple of my fixations: fashion & accessories – all with another love of mine: my Polaroid camera.

I am delighted to share this private moment in such a great show like Who Shot Rock & Roll with the public.

See More of Maripol's images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 7, 2012. Learn more about her on her official website.