‘New York Polaroids 1976-1989’ is not the first book by Swiss photographer Edo Bertoglio but it is the first book of Polaroids. You could say “forgotten” Polaroids. After all, what serious photographer would be taking pictures on Polaroid in those days? No, these were just fun pics in the 80’s heyday of the downtown scene in NYC. How time changes one’s perspective.
Just a Diary
It was really meant as a personal diary of his life at the time in New York. With images of Grace Jones, Maripol, Debbie Harry, Madonna, Andy Warhol and many others. It started as a lark on the top of the Empire State building with a few snaps. Then it became a diary of sorts that spanned over a decade. It was a time of the little known Madonna’s, Blondie’s, Grace Jones’s and all the known starlets buzzing about the beehive of Andy Warhol’s Factory. The downtown scene went from CBGB’s to Studio 54. And Edo Bertoglio was there to record it all.
It was a time when his paying work was sparse,…but he might as well have fun while paying his dues. He loved NY. Bertoglio eventually morphed into a successful photographer and director of films. But the frenzied partying and rubbing shoulders with the people who would soon be stars in their own right paid dividends later in life. But those were just fun days for someone in their 20’s and 30’s. (Edo Bertoglio was born in 1951)
Almost an Afterthought
Curious is the fact that it took so long to actually consider publishing this horde of images. I guess it seemed less important before now. From shoebox to book. It’s been a long journey. Using his Polaroid SX-70, (film still available from the Impossible Project), and others in the 14 years of shooting had finally proved to be an unforeseen boon. The book is quite good. The grainless saturated colors of a Polaroid of the day portray their own unique beauty. And if you love the 80’s, this should be your bible! “New York Polaroids 1976–1989” by Edo Bertoglio. This book is rare, but worth searching for. Yard Press, the publisher, lists it as “Sold Out”, but I’m sure it may occasionally appear on Ebay or Amazon.