Vintage Madonna Portraits Finally See Light of Day

Posted by David Ozanich — 15 Mar 2011


Madonna fans! This one is for you. Out magazine has just published a cache of unseen photographs of the iconic singer taken in 1982 by the photographer Richard Corman. He was 28 and had just finished apprenticing under Richard Avedon when his mother, a casting director, called to say she'd just tested a young woman for the part of the Virgin Mary in "The Last Temptation of Christ" and that he should meet her. (Ed note: Can you imagine the mind-blowing campiness that would have resulted from casting Madonna as The Madonna? A boy can dream.) Anyhow, like any good son, Corman followed his mother's advice and went to meet the young Madonna:

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.

I've selected some of my favorites for this post (those boom box ones are priceless! And the one with the senior citizens!) and you can see the rest of the portfolio (there are dozens more pictures) here. For all you Material Girls out there, you can purchase a limited edition print from this series at Richard Corman's website.





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