In 1979 the as yet unknown 20 year old Madonna posed nude for just $30 for New York photographer Martin Schreiber. Later when she had become a global icon the shots appeared in Playboy, catapulting Schreiber to fame. 30 years on the original photographs are on show in the UK exclusively from the Impure Art Gallery
The Private View opening party had to be spread over three nights due to the high demand. They were a huge success, which far exceeded the small gallerys expectations. Jamie McCartney of Impure Art We sold a lot of prints, it was unbelievable. One of the editions is now up to 8 of 25. There are two collectors enquiring about the entire series of 34 photos, which is fantastic.
At print number 8 the price rises and again at 14 and at 21. Clever investors are buying the prints before the first seven of each are sold. Now is a great time to buy before the exhibition moves to London in July. With more exhibitions planned this year in Turkey, Russia and the USA, its just a matter of time before the photos sell out.
The series of black and white photographs of Madonna show her as the exceptionally beautiful young woman she was. Modelling to pay her way through dance school, her toned body, perfect breasts, great skin, luxuriant pubic hair and mop of curls were a draw for several photographers. The languid, innocent look in her eyes betrays nothing of the pop superstar and business genius she was to become.
A similar Lee Friedlander photograph of Madonna from the same year recently sold at auction for $37,500. Schreibers photographs are seen as more classy and with growing interest in his work by collectors these prints could be an excellent investment with prices starting at only £1600 for the smaller sized 1985 edition and £3400 for the 60X40cm 30th anniversary edition.
Schreiber began working freelance for the New York Times and in 1971 was a runner up in the first Life Magazine photography contest. This was the start of a brilliant career. In 1977 he began teaching a course on photographing the nude and his first book entitled Bodyscapes was published in 1980.
In 1985 though Schreiber got the lucky break artists dream of. Madonna was on the cover of Time magazine. He dug out his nude photos of the former model and brief girlfriend and sold them to Playboy. They appeared amidst much controversy in the September 1985 issue.
The original 1985 prints were exhibited a few times in the USA and Europe but have since gathered dust at Schreibers French home as he concentrated on other projects. Persuaded to exhibit the series again for the 30th anniversary, he released this new edition of larger size prints, which have attracted so much attention.
Jamie McCartney of Impure Art When you have wonderful nude photos of a beautiful young woman, taken by a great photographer and she just happens to be a global icon, its a no brainer, the show is going to sell out.
Impure Art is the UKs only permanent, commercial, erotic art gallery. Established only a year ago and dealing in art broadly described as anything from nude to rude it has fast acquired a reputation for daring and exciting shows of extremely high quality. The gallery, in Brightons famous Lanes, represents over 100 artists, sculptors and photographers.
The Madonna Nudes features as part the Brighton Festival Fringe and runs until June 28