Marcus Leatherdale seemed to consistently be at the appropriate abode at the appropriate time. His new photo book Out Of The Shadows, appear by ACC Arts & Books, is a alternation of portraits that takes us aback to a time aback New York Burghal wasn’t dependable by aggressive commercialism and ascent rents. Granted, about anybody misses—or at atomic romanticizes—the 1980s music, appearance and unhinged club scene. Leatherdale photographed the city’s in crowd, from Madonna to Andy Warhol, Jodie Foster, Debbie Harry and Leigh Bowery. These beauteous atramentous and white portraits, all captured amid 1980 and 1992, abduction the city’s action as a cultural basic afore it became the business-driven burghal it is today. Leatherdale batten about activity afore smartphones, Warhol’s abstruse and why he respects Madonna.
Andy Warhol, 1983
You’ve said that you weren’t attractive to accomplish history, but you did. What’s it like attractive aback at these?
Marcus Leatherdale: History, I never advised my assignment to be archiving an era that would be abolished in 30 years. I did not apprehend that my assignment could be accordant historically, I was aloof a 20something and artlessly photographing all the hip and air-conditioned bodies about me at the time. It was all a moment in time, a day in my life, aloof aggravating to get by. However, no one was able for AIDS affairs the rug from beneath bohemia and alternative so abounding amazing and irreplaceable people.
What was New York like aback in the 1980s?
The 21st aeon New York is not the New York of the 1980s. Aboriginal off, the neighborhoods were not gentrified and there was a faculty of brotherhood aural the bohemian community. It was the melting pot of America, overflowing with diversity. Being different and artistic was the ticket, not money, acclaim cards and artist labels. We lived in the moment for the moment, not on our smartphones. In the 1980s, the alone tech annex was our groundline blast answering machines, which my cat usually angry off by sitting on it. New York in the 1980s was the centermost of the universe, you had to be in it to win in, but no longer.
What was Madonna like to shoot and was she career-driven aback then?
I alone photographed Madonna once, I was set to photograph Martin Burgoyne and he asked me if I would shoot his acceptable acquaintance and roommate, as well. He told me that Madonna was about to put out her aboriginal record. We listened to the songs Holiday and Borderline on a cassette. They both came to my flat together. I dressed her in my jean vest. She was quiet and accessible to photograph. The abutting evening, I was accepting my 30th altogether banquet at Club A and arrive Martin and Madonna. Madonna sat abutting to Andy Warhol and Andree Putman. Andy asked me who she was, I told him that she was an accessible singer. “Greaaat” said Andy. She was actual afresh quiet and larboard early. She and Martin gave me an AstorBoy apprentice for a altogether gift. Of course, Madonna charge accept been career driven, she would accept to accept been. Actual focused, I account that.
Andy Warhol, 1985
What do you bethink best about Andy Warhol?
Warhol’s Interview Magazine is was what absorbed me to the Big Apple. Andy was a active figure to me. He was consistently affable and absorbed in whatever I was up to, or so he appeared. “Greaaat,” he would say. Once, at Radio Burghal Music Hall, he confided in me that he best acceptable did not accept any blur in his camera, which he was photographing bodies in the antechamber with. “They all aloof adulation the attention,” he said. Ironically, Andy photographed me far added than I did him.
When did you photograph Andy?
I photographed Andy three times, aboriginal at the Factory at Union Square, sitting on a atramentous couch abutting to a blimp penguin, after I photographed him in an Issey Miyake cape for Bodyworks. And lastly, I attempt him at his new Factory, sitting abutting to a bronze of Caligula. The aftermost time I anytime saw Andy was at Jerry Hall’s altogether affair at her flush townhouse. We were administration a city checker cab with Tina Chow, In chat he mentioned that he never capital to go to a hospital, he alarming that he would not get out. It was a sad adumbration of things to come, as he after died of complications and baby Tina died of AIDS. I am the aftermost man standing.
Was Divine, the brood of John Waters, funny off camera?
Divine was not a transvestite nor a annoyance queen. You would never see him out and about on the artery in drag. He was a able amateur whose changeable clothing was Divine. It was a job. Aback I capital to photograph Glen, I had to align for a time to bead by his Pent-Hut a few hours afore he had a gig, so he would be fabricated up in drag. Was Divine funny? Yes, but not outrageously affected like his date persona.
What fabricated Leigh Bowery brilliant?
I met Leigh at the Roxy Hotel one night aback he was in town. He was cutting a beaded mask, a corset, argent belvedere boots and a merkin wig. He came to my flat the abutting afternoon cutting the exact accouterments in ample daylight. Leigh was a absolute English admirer to assignment with, actual easy. What was difficult was abatement bottomward a auto on the Bowery at 5PM, cutting the wig. Now, that is what makes Leigh Bowery brilliant!
Leigh Bowery, 1990
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