agnès b. Galerie Boutique | 50 Howard Street
Downtown Divas by Maripol
Opening Reception with the artist: Saturday, November 19, 2016
November 20, 2016 – January 2, 2017
agnès b. is pleased to announce the exhibition Downtown Divas by Maripol, a collection of Polaroids taken in New York in the late 70s and early 80s by designer, stylist, and photographer Maripol. Works in the exhibition, which include large format Polaroids printed on museum paper or screen printed on canvas, are taken from the photographer’s personal collection of prominent figures in the early downtown art scene, as well as distorted self-portraits, and other images. Many images in the exhibition have never been shown before.
As a prominent figure of the era, who can often be described as “the gatekeeper of ‘80s club culture,” French-born Maripol effortlessly took stylish Polaroid images to document one of the most vibrant times of New York City’s artistic history. Working as a designer and photographer, she captured moments of characters that frequented Studio 54, Mudd Club, and Danceteria, including Deborah Harry, Madonna, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Grace Jones.
Maripol arrived to New York from France in 1976. She took her first Polaroid photograph in 1977 and for many years she would rarely be without her SX-70 Polaroid camera. Within a year, she landed the position of designer at the hip Italian fashion label Fiorucci, where she would later become art director.
In 1979, Maripol first met Jean-Michel Basquiat, a 19-year old painter and graffiti artist, and the two would soon become close acquaintances. As part of a developing project to record the faces of the ‘downtown underground,’ Basquiat was featured in a number of her Polaroids. Around the same time, Maripol also founded the accessory design company, Maripolitan, partly because she was unable to find accessories she liked to photograph. Many of her pieces would become instantly recognizable classics of the period, including crucifixes, earring and rubber bracelets, which she adorned young Madonna with.
Today, Maripol continues to design, create jewelry, and take Polaroids. She was recently hired by fashion houses Dior, Valentino and Hugo Boss to document their creations with her faithful Polaroid camera and create short animation films with them for social media. Maripol’s early Polaroids have been published in books, including Maripolarama in 2006 and Little Red Riding Hood in 2010, and a new book is in the works. Maripol currently lives and works in New York.
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