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August 16, 2022

Madonna Photographed by Kate Simon in New York City in the Summer of 1983

Kate Simon is a New York-based photographer whose work has documented the artists, poets, and musicians in New York City during the 1970s and 1980s. Among her subjects are Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, and Iggy Pop. Simon’s photographs of the emerging punk rock scene are legendary and include the cover for The Clash’s first album.

In 1978, Simon photographed Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe outside a New York building. The following year, in 1979, she shot Michael Jackson on the set of his “Rock With You” music video. The same year, she photographed Andy Warhol reading a newspaper while she was working for his publication, Interview magazine. She also worked for Creem magazine and was later credited for her “humanizing touch” in her photographs of the era’s pop culture icons.

In 1981, Simon was hired as the photographer for The Face magazine. In 1983, she was assigned Madonna’s first official professional photoshoot which took place on the roof of Simon’s Manhattan apartment.

“Madonna arrived at my studio in New York with her friend Debi Mazar, I was taking her photograph for The Face,” recalled Simon. “I took them both up to the roof, because I like the available light. I shot one roll of black and white. Madonna was a dream subject! Every frame on the roll is good.”


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