Maripol first traveled to New York in 1976 at the age of 20 as a student of the École des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, France. Drawn to the city after discovering the Jon Naar/Norman Mailer book The Faith of Graffiti, Maripol worked as a designer and art director and began shooting Polaroid SX-70 photographs in 1977. The small camera was perfect for taking into clubs like Studio 54 and the Mudd Club; over the years she documented everyone she came into contact with — a who’s who of the downtown underground scene including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, Deborah Harry, Madonna, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, and many others. She founded her own jewelry and accessory line, Maripolitan, and became a sought-after stylist (credited for creating Madonna’s signature bangled look first seen in her “Holiday” video). She also co-produced and art-directed the film Downtown 81, starring Basquiat, and first exhibited her photos in the seminal exhibition New York/New Wave, curated by Diego Cortez at MoMA P.S.1. Now living between New York, Los Angeles, and Paris, Maripol has been hired by numerous brands to document their collections in her signature style — Polaroids animated in film, incorporating her poetry.
BEYOND THE STREETS New York, 2019. Photo by Dan Bradica.