The first time Madonna introduced herself to Richard Corman, she served him bubble gum and an espresso on a silver tray. It was 1983 and they were meeting in her East Village apartment for a photo shoot.
“There was nothing pretentious about it,” Corman said. “It was funny but it was her. It might have been planned but it was charming and it set the tone. From there on, everything was unexpected.”
For the next several hours, the pair walked the streets of New York City as Madonna turned nursing homes, rooftops and building rubble into her own personal photo studio. The singer had yet to make her big break but even then it was clear to everyone that she was a star in the making, and crowds of neighborhood children would follow her wherever she went.
More than 50 images from their partnership will be on display in Milk Gallery from November 15 through December 21 (now extended an extra week!), including two unique paintings by celebrated painter Alec Monopoly that turn Corman’s photographs into vibrant creations that are as bold and fresh as the artist who inspired them. Coinciding with the exhibition is the release of Corman’s photographic book, Madonna NYC83, printed by Damiani editore, copies of which will be available for purchase at Milk Gallery.
Corman and Madonna would meet several times soon after their first photo shoot, and their collaboration produced a stunning collection of images that capture not only Madonna’s rebellious spirit but also the mood of the cultural revolution sweeping through the city’s youth.
“It was a time in the city where the energy was just crazy wonderful,” Corman said. “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.”
Madonna NYC83 runs from November 15 through December 21 in Milk Gallery.
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