[“][W]hen I met her for the first time in her apartment she offered me Espresso on a silver plated tray with Bazooka bubble gum,” photographer Richard Corman tells Hunger. “She had such a great sense of humor.” The ‘she’ he’s referring to? Madonna – in 1983 – just six weeks before her eponymous album would be released and send her into superstardom. The fruits of that three-hour photo shoot are now on display at the Weiss Katz Gallery. We caught up with Corman to talk collaborating with then-24-year-old Madge and making magic in NYC…
“In 1983 I had just left an apprenticeship at Richard Avedon’s studio and I was building a portfolio photographing young artists including Haring and Basquiat,” Corman says. “I was introduced to Madonna by my mother, Cis Corman, a casting director.” First impressions? “That she was an absolute original. I had never met anyone like her…her style, her swag, her beauty, her humor, her sensuality and of course her Charisma was unlike anyone!”
The Madonna NYC 83 exhibit represents photographs taken in M’s apartment on East 4th St., NYC and walking around her neighborhood. “There was no theme,” he adds. “She and I were young artists and we improvised on a very instinctual level. Total collaboration. Madonna absolutely styled herself – [her] fashion from the 80’s inspired millions then and continues today.”
“I was aware that I was in the presence of someone special,” Corman remembers. “She was fiercely determined and so talented that I was convinced she was on her way to success.” You can check out a series of Richard Corman’s images of Madonna, before she became Madonna, in our gallery below.