RSVP: Maripol on Partying with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol

RSVP: Maripol on Partying with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol

The prolific photographer reminisces on her nights of celebration in 80s New York, toasting life in the face of death.

The prolific photographer reminisces on her nights of celebration in 80s New York, toasting life in the face of death.

Text: Maripol

I was an impresario early on; when my parents had parties, I would get up because I couldn't sleep and finish their drinks. [Laughs.] In '76 I moved to New York, uptown. One day I looked at my boyfriend and said, "What are we doing? We live on 84th and Central Park and never do anything above 42nd Street." It was great for STudio 54, but it's a long way to the Mudd Club. 

I moved downtown in '79. I was organizing lots of parties, like Madonna's The Virgin Tour after-party at the Palladium in 1985. The Palladium was the club of the time, the club of the '80s, run by the STudio 54 founder after he got out of jail. It had a huge Basquiat and a mural of Keith Haring. 

ANDY WARHOL, POLAROID PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARIPOL

Rooftop parties at my loft were more intimate. Kieth would come by, and Andy. You had to go through the fire escape to get up. Very dangerous. [Laughs.] One was a birthday party for Madonna's roadie and producer, Martin Burgoyne. Keith designed the invitations [below]. We must have printed at least 200. Keith didn't design many invitations; that was special for Martin. Andy [Warhol] was there, and Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran, who Andy loved. I got a big trash bag full of beer and ice, and served my famous punch: dark rum with pineapple juice, orange, a bit of coconut cream, and more rum. The drinking...some people took care of themselves and some people didn't. You partied thinking maybe it was the last party. 

Martin died really young [from AIDS-related complications]. Madonna paid for a lot of his medical bills. We all did rounds. I remember I took a bag of groceries for him, and he would not see me. I had to drop off the bag in front. And it was absolutely scary. And there was nothing you could do, because they did not know. They didn't want us to be close to them. It was so sad. 

When he was still alive, we had a fundraiser, about a year after his birthday. That was also a Keith Haring invite. It was for food, whatever [Martin] needed. Keith died in '90, so I would say yes, he knew he himself was HIV positive when he made the invitations. The community was much more tight. There was a lot of love, because bottom line, [the parties] were about showing love. it was all about love and fun.

As told to Samuel Anderson

INVITATION DESIGNED BY KEITH HARING
Credits: INVITATION DESIGNED BY KEITH HARING POLAROID PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARIPOL

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