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Edo Bertoglio's New York Polaroids 1976—1989
"Debbie Outside a Bar", New York, 1979Photography Edo Bertoglio

These Polaroids capture party-buzzed New York in the 80s

This photographer shot the star power of Grace Jones, Madonna and Debbie Harry amongst the city’s heady club scene

Over three decades ago, Swiss photographer Edo Bertoglio found himself shoulder-to-shoulder with New York’s starlets, rockstars and Warhol's Factory crowd, slipping past the velvet ropes of singer-slash-actress haunts like Studio 54 and CBGB. There, he recruited everyone from Grace Jones, to Andy Warhol, as well as his wife, filmmaker, stylist and artist, Maripol, as his photography muses – and now he's publishing them in his new book New York Polaroids 1976–1989, as well as some sneak peeks of the gang’s holiday snaps.

In it, alongside an archive that could act as a who’s-who of New York in the 80s, the photographer tells of his and Maripol's first real emotional experience of the city, explaining: “Everything started between 5th and 34th Street, on a clear and cold afternoon… all of a sudden we hugged, with tears in our eyes, terrified by the metropolis, by our own loneliness and the lack of stable work. Attempting to overcome our own feelings, we walked right up to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building where the warmth of the light eventually welcomed us and showed to us the very essence of the city… it was certainly clear that New York was the only place where we wanted to stay. That city was going to be the luminous background of my photographs.”

Documenting the scene for 14 years, the publication flicks through candid shots of stars like a wide-eyed Debbie Harry and Madonna, the burgeoning star on the verge of "Like A Virgin", dreamy New York landscapes, nude portraits and party frenzy group shots. It’s the 80s alright, but with a crazy sense of immediacy only Bertoglio – with his eye and insider access – could achieve.

New York Polaroids 1976–1989 is available now from Yard Press