“I think the Polaroid is this little jewel that, in some ways, is just untouched... They’re not manipulated, they’re raw, as the subject matter was... I just feel that they’re important. I feel that this is a piece of pop-culture history.” -Richard Corman, as quoted in the New York Times
Corman’s Polaroids “prove with utter certainty that Madonna was destined for icon status...” -Harper’s Bazaar
THE ORIGINAL, UNIQUE POLAROIDS OF MADONNA FROM PHOTOGRAPHER RICHARD CORMAN’S 1983 PHOTOSHOOT PRESENTING THE FUTURE CULTURAL ICON ON THE PRECIPICE OF FAME, SIX WEEKS BEFORE THE RELEASE OF HER DEBUT ALBUM.
FOR A LIMITED TIME WE ARE OFFERING AS A COLLECTION THE COMPLETE SET OF 66 POLAROIDS, AS FEATURED IN CORMAN’S NEW LIMITED EDITION FINE ART BOOK “MADONNA 66”. AFTER THAT, THE SET WILL BE DISPERSED AND THE IMAGES OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY.
On the history of the photoshoot, as featured in Vogue (November 28, 2016):
“Madonna has remade herself so many times in her 30-plus-year career—Hollywood vamp, urban cowboy, new-age hippie—that it’s easy to forget that once, at the beginning of things, she wasn’t all that different from so many other city kids: a cool New York City girl who had fled her hometown of Detroit for the East Village. Photographer Richard Corman knows this version of Madonna well. In the early 1980s, when the singer was just getting her career in music and film off the ground, Corman spent months taking pictures of Madonna for several sittings in New York. This was at the behest of his mother, a casting director who saw potential. He caught on right away. ‘I called from across the street, and when I looked up, she yelled to come upstairs, and I saw these cat eyes looking over the railing of her four-story walk-up. I knew then and there that this was somebody special,’ says Corman of their first meeting at her apartment on East Fourth Street. ‘She was funny in the most beguiling way. As soon as I walked up, she served me espresso and bubblegum on a silver plate and tray’...
“The 66 images—taken at Madonna’s brother’s house in Manhattan—were taken as test shots for a movie his mother was casting that never got made. Madonna did her own styling. ‘She was wearing white lace leggings under torn jeans... a jean jacket with graffiti on the back and the sleeves cut off, with these rubber bangles, more like friendship bracelets, that she would give away to friends. Her makeup was just so brash—these red lips, and she created that mole on the side of her face,’ he says. ‘You’d say now that it was so chic—you walk into Opening Ceremony, Urban Outfitters, and this is what everyone is wearing—but she was a visionary. It was so bohemian and gritty and down-to-earth. She was going to vintage clothing shops. She had great taste—and you can’t teach that. And the dress, I swear she paid $2 for the gown, and it was so exquisite.’
“Corman had previously worked for the legendary photographer Richard Avedon, but says that even with all of his experience around the celebrities that would come through Avedon’s studio, the Madonna spark was special. ‘She had charisma like I have never seen,’ he says. ‘When you look at somebody through the camera, you either see behind somebody’s eyes or you don’t. And with her, it was “wow”’. But it’s not just Madonna who was different back then: Corman is nostalgic for a time before photoshoots were so meticulously handled. There is a looseness in these photos that, by definition, cannot be orchestrated. ‘Now we’d have 20 bodyguards and 30 assistants. They’d have to cordon off the street. Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj—people like that, who I’d love to spend time with—it would be a different experience,’ he says. ‘But Madonna was accessible—and it was raw.’”
In November 2016, Corman released a limited edition fine art book, Madonna 66, featuring reproduced images of the Polaroids and the work was widely praised worldwide in such publications as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and numerous others. For the first time now the original Polaroids are being offered for sale. Each Polaroid is signed and number (1-66) by Corman. The limited edition book is also included in the collection.
On Richard Corman:
Trained under Richard Avedon, Richard Corman has been one of the most celebrated portrait photographers of the last thirty years.
Rolling Stone refers to his photographs as “iconic” and documentarian Ken Burns says Corman’s versatile body of work is an “artistic vision dedicated to the highest aspirations of human endeavor... the photographs record in big moments and small, among the famous and ordinary, the gifted and challenged, larger truths relevant to all of us."
New York: Richard Corman, 1983. Sixty-six original Polaroids with limited edition book. The Polaroids will be housed in a custom case by noted book artist Sjoerd Hofstra. Fine condition.
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO OWN A COMPLETE COLLECTION DOCUMENTING AN IMPORTANT MOMENT IN ART AND CULTURAL HISTORY.
Price: $250,000 .