Maripol in Polaroids: The Disappearing

Polaroids: The Disappearing brings a collection of personal and project-oriented Polaroids from historically important artists like Andy Warhol, Maripol, Mickalene Thomas, Genesis P-Orridge and Dennis Hopper to the sprawling Nathalie Karg Gallery on Grand Street.  The massive exhibition gives viewers an insider’s look into the daily life of these artists, as well as behind-the-scenes and in-process looks at some of their iconic images and paintings.

Long before iPhones and Instagram amplified our obsession with consistently documenting our every move, there was the tactually satisfying Polaroid. With a click and a shake (but not too hard!), instant image gratification could be had to define the moment. Since its inception, Polaroids have attracted artists who have made bodies of work that are impulsive, intrusive, intimate, granting the viewer an insight into the mind of an artist with lurid detail.

The thorough exhibition ranges from studio portraits of artist greats like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring to abstracted nudes by Marco Schifano, or the personal snaps and self-portraits by the late Emma Bee Bernstein who committed suicide at the Guggenheim in Venice in 2008. The exhibition also delves into the cultural documentary of the downtown scene of New York with pieces by Maripol, an artist known for her iconic Polaroid portrait of the cultural icons she encountered in the 80s club scene. A Polaroid of chanteuse Sade and Edwige in Maripol’s loft, is joined by a self-portrait of the artist in 1978.

The nature of the classic Polaroid size – just 3.5 by 4.25 inches, makes for an intimate experience at the 4th floor gallery, which spans the entire floor. The beautiful show runs through January 5th at Nathalie Karg, 291 Grand Street.

Words by Lori Zimmer

Image credit: Maripol. Sade and Edwige in the loft, 1983, SX 70 original Polaroid. Courtesy the Artist