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  • Blouson De Cuir, New York, 1979. Photo by Edo Bertoglio.

  • Andy’s Big Shot, New York, 1978. Photo by Edo Bertoglio

  • Smoking Grace, New York, 1986. Photo by Edo Bertoglio


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“New York Polaroids 1976-1989” book by Edo Bertoglio

A new book by Yard Press casts a light on the New York adventures of Swiss photographer and film director Edo Bertoglio, who has worked for magazines like Interview or Italian Vogue, focusing on his amazing Polaroid photos from 1976 to 1989. The book is conceived as a personal diary of New York’s downtown scene, featuring portraits and stills of some the most iconic artists, musicians, writers, designers, directors and actors of the time, among them Arto Lindsay, Grace Jones, Glenn O’Brien, Debbie Harry, Madonna, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and John Lurie. The book also pays homage to Bertoglio’s then girlfriend and muse Maripol, a legendary art director and designer who styled Madonna, Cher and Grace Jones and served as a continuous inspiration not only for the photographer, but also for New York’s artistic scene of the 80’s.

Edo Bertoglio portrayed with his camera all the frenzy and contagious energy of New York, from its nightclub scene to its street styles, capturing the zeitgeist of his time —a blend of underground energy, poetry and decadence that gave birth to some of the most original art, fashion and music of the 20th century. “I’m a face addict,” Bertoglio told CNN about his portraits. “Every time you see a picture of a face, you can count on the fact that I’m in love with that face, and I’m very touched by it.” Of course, Bertoglio’s New York didn’t last for long, with its creative community slowly burning itself in the late 80’s and the city becoming increasingly more expensive and less artist friendly. “Everything changed,” Bertoglio explained. “It was like a space of a morning. The music, the art, and then the drugs and then the AIDS. Everything just fell down in that community. My story was very similar to many others, I had an amazing career, and then I burned everything that I built because of drugs.

The artist abandoned New York in 1990 in order to escape from his severe drug habit, taking with him just two big bags with his archive, part of which is featured at the book. Bertoglio’s spontaneous Polaroids serve as a reminder of New York’s rich artistic and creative heritage, and, far from being nostalgic, they are a pure celebration of life. “New York Polaroids 1976-1989” book is published by Yard Press, an independent publishing house focusing on experimental publications and underground cultures, and comes in a limited edition of 500 copies. The book features an essay by Mariuccia Casadio and an extract from an interview between Stefano Bianchi and Edo Bertoglio.