In the 1970s, when Maripol came to New York City from France in her twenties, it was supposed to be a short visit — she certainly didn’t expect to become something of a local legend. Equipped with a brand-new Polaroid camera (a Christmas gift from her then-boyfriend, a photographer), she would go on to capture everyone from Madonna to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Deborah Harry of Blondie.
Maripol and her decades’ worth of intimate Polaroids are a record of everything we think we know about downtown cool. The furthest uptown she ever went was 54th Street because that’s where Studio 54 was, she told me last week a the Polaroid Pop-Up Lab opening at 138 Wooster Street. There, she brushed shoulders with Andy Warhol, Steve Rubell, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, and Grace Jones.
“Soho was definitely not the Soho it is now,” Maripol said with a laugh at the back of the Polaroid pop-up last week. Sure, the area is flooded with budding photographers and aspiring “creative types,” but Maripol is not interested in influencers. “I don’t even know what that means,” she said.
Instead, she’s more interested in connecting with the next generation of Polaroid users. To celebrate the opening of the brand’s pop-up, Maripol got behind the camera again to capture the “soul,” as she puts it, of New York’s up-and-comers. “Relax!” she told them. See the results, below.