Marcus Leatherdale, Photographer of the NYC Downtown Scene, Dies at 69
Marcus Leatherdale, whose stark black-and-white portraiture of NYC artists and glitterati landed his work in museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, died Friday. He was 69.
Leatherdale was the romantic partner, office manager and a subject of legendary photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the '70s ahead of finding his own voice as a lensman.
His black-and-white work was characterized by a moodiness — his final gallery show, at NYC's Throckmorton, was entitled "Out of the Shadows" — and by the famous faces who posed for him, including Madonna, Andy Warhol, supermodel Iman, bodybuilder Lisa Lyon and drag legend Divine.
Via his monthly "Hidden Identities" feature in Details magazine, Leatherdale would present celebrities in a new light, obscuring who they were. He famously captured pop artist Keith Haring as Santa Claus and Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry in see-through chainmail for the series.
For more than 20 years, Leatherdale had spent time in India shooting, which resulted in his book "Adivasi: Portraits of Tribal India."
According to Trey Speegle at World of Wonder, though no cause of death has been announced, Leatherdale was grieving the loss of his longtime partner Jorge Serios and his mother, both of whom died recently.
Dancer Erika Belle remembered Leatherdale on Twitter, writing, "Say hello to our many friends, lining up in the heavens to pose for you. RIP, Marcus Leatherdale."
Blondie's Chris Stein posted a portrait of the photographer, writing, "I'm seeing today that Marcus Leatherdale has moved on Rest in Peace Marcus."