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Richard Corman, Madonna NYC '83, 2010

Richard Corman


Current Stock: 1


Richard Corman

Madonna NYC '83, 2010

Black and white photographic print on archival pigment paper

Hand signed, titled and numbered 1/1 on the front as well as the back (signed twice)

36 × 36 inches

Madonna '83 is a unique 36 square inch photograph on archival pigment paper, numbered 1 of 1 by the legendary photographer Richard Corman, who began his career as Richard Avedon's apprentice. The work is affixed to a board, and it is signed, titled and numbered 1/1 (unique) on both the front of the photograph, as well as the back board.

This photograph was taken during Richard Corman's historic photoshoot with Madonna in the early 1980s, and it was reprinted in 2010. Richard Corman's famous photographs of Madonna during that period have been reproduced in books, magazines, tv clips and newspapers - and are considered the most iconic images ever taken of Madonna. We are incredibly honored to be exclusively offering this iconic photograph for the very first time -- in honor of Madonna's 65th birthday.

Here, Madonna is just a natural beauty, youthful, confident, vulnerable, natural, and extraordinarily poised. The photograph was taken while she was on the cusp of superstardom, but still anxious, striving, going on casting calls, and waiting for her big break. As Richard Corman explains, she is shown sitting amidst the rubble of the back yard of her Lower East side apartment.

In his own words, photographer Richard Corman describes how this famous sitting came about:

My mother was Cis Corman, a renowned casting director in New York City. In the summer of 1982 she was casting The Last Temptation of Christ for Martin Scorsese and called me to say they had just tested a girl for the part of the Virgin Mary. She said, “You must meet this girl — she’s an original.” I was 28 and had just finished an apprenticeship with Richard Avedon and was looking for interesting people to shoot. So I got this girl’s number and called. It was Madonna. At the time she was living in Alphabet City [Lower East Side of Manhattan], and she suggested I go to her apartment and chat about what I wanted to do. I had to call her from a phone booth across the street, because the neighborhood was full of drug dealers, and they didn’t let people just walk in and out. There was a group of kids outside the building, on the stoop, in the hallways, and when I said I was there for Madonna the seas parted. I looked up the staircase, and I saw this girl leaning over the edge of the banister, and even from three stories below I could see these catlike eyes just looking down. I knew at that moment that she had something special — I really did. She had her best friend and neighbor, Martin, with her — he later died of AIDS—and we sat and talked. She served me a cup of coffee on a silver tray with three pieces of Bazooka bubblegum. There was no pretense to it. When I came back a few days later to shoot her, she said, “You know, we should go up to the roof because I go up there with all the kids from the building.” She was like the Pied Piper of the neighborhood — they loved her. They followed her, they danced with her, they sang with her. It was something they did on a daily basis, and it was remarkable. We just walked up and they gathered around. She put the boom box on — it was her music, though I don’t remember which song — and they just started dancing and singing. She was so alive and unpretentious. She was fierce, determined. Nothing was going to stop her.
After we came down from the rooftop, we walked through the neighborhood, laughing and chatting, stopping in front of a storefront that you see in one of the shots, stopping in front of a senior citizen’s home and hanging out with the old folks. For me, like her, when I do a shoot now, I’ve got eight people around me — but that day it was just the two of us. I would shoot her a couple more times, once for the campaign for Vision Quest, with Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino. It was a hot coming-of-age film about wrestling in the Northwest, and she was the singer in the little bar that some of these teenagers would hang out in. By then Madonna was becoming hot and big, and — in the nicest way — she would go to whoever would help her and move her ahead. I was that person to begin with because of the connection to my mother. But as soon as she had that rocket to fame she was off to the next stage. That’s when Herb Ritts started photographing her exclusively, but that early period of the ’80s was amazing. I was photographing Basquiat and Keith Haring, and just to be part of all that took your breath away. People were truly taking chances. It was just a different energy, and Madonna was the focal point for a lot of that.

For fans and followers of Madonna, snag this now while we still have it, and while it's still available.


Height:   36.00
Width:   36.00