Between 1980 and 1994, Laura Levine photographed more than 500 bands and musicians for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to influential punk magazine New York Rocker, where she worked as photo editor. Though she shot many live shows, Levine is best known for her expressive portraits, taken in her Chinatown apartment or Soho loft, or on the streets of New York City.
Levine’s work can currently be seen in the exhibition “Laura Levine: ALTHIPHOPINDYPUNK Picture Show: Intimate Portraits of Musicians, 1980-1994” at San Francisco’s DZINE Gallery.
In 1982 I was assigned by Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine to photograph a new singer named Madonna, whose very first single (“Everybody”) was about to be released. She arrived alone, climbing the long four flights to my small Chinatown tenement apartment. She was very easy to work with and took direction like a pro. Even when I asked her to do seemingly ridiculous things like wrap herself in my backdrop and pretend to scream, she just went for it. (All in the name of a good photo, of course!).