Photographer Edo Bertoglio was a pioneer of his time. He became involved in the scene in downtown New York in the 80s during a time of energy, creativity and luxury, and captured intimate moments of celebrities, art stars and night owls involved in that scene. His new book New York Polaroids 1976-1989 is a collection of those times and showcases a candid side to many people not rarely seen, and used the Polaroid camera in a way not commonly used. Bertoglio frequented clubs like CBGB and Studio 54, and snapped images of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry and Madonna. In fact, one image that Bertoglio had taken of Madonna was meant to be the cover for her Like A Virgin record, until the producers had a change of heart at the last moment.
He used the Polaroid SX70 because it was a portable, durable, instant camera, and meant that Bertoglio could easily travel at his will – from vacations to Greece or Porto Rico, to spontaneous motorcycle trips to Staten Island – and take photos easily. The native Swiss photographer has exploited the characteristics of the polaroid camera and used them as stylistic nuances. Blurs, light flares, and unexpected color spots become a feature of his work.
He infuses many of his polaroids with a distinctive pop quality, hyper-real, pre-digital, playing with an unmistakable intertwining of silhouettes and intense, lively, counterposed tones, faded mono- chrome atmospheres, clear-cut juxtapositions of subjects, forms and colors, close-ups and backgrounds. He has synthesized the narcissistic and decadent hue of his time.
His book is available to purchase here at Yard Press.