Martin Burgoyne, was a talented artist, a fun guy and a friend. He was one of those people that everybody loved. Martin and Madonna became fast friends and he played a big role in her early career. He managed her first tour and created the artwork for her first EP. He got to share in her rise to fame. I remember Keith Haring, who took Andy Warhol as his date to Madonna’s wedding, showing me pictures from the nuptials at a benefit for Martin’s hospital bills at the Pyramid. They had all just returned. But Martin was already pretty sick and he died from complications from AIDS later that year. He was just 23. In Madonna’s song “In This Life”, from “Erotica”, she sings these words about Martin; “…never had a chance to say goodbye/ In this life, I loved you most of all.”
For decades, his parents have kept all their son’s memorabilia and artwork from that era private. They live in the Tampa Bay area and are in their 80s and are now selling the collection at an auction next month at Meyer’s Fine Art. From my perspective, this is a shame. Not that they are selling it, they have every right, but someone gave them bad advice. This work should have come to New York to be auctioned where so many of Martin’s friends still live, at the very least, so they could all commune with Martin and say a final goodbye, so many years later.
The top left photo above, of Martin and Madonna, was almost undoubtedly taken their friend and longtime stylist, Maripol who has a new book of her Polaroids out next month. There are sketches and original artwork in Martin’s sketchbook for Madonna’s EP, “Burning Up”. There’s a drawing of Martin by Andy Warhol and the original art for the invitation to that Pyramid fundraiser for Burgoyne by Keith Haring. We were all at that party, all of Martin’s friends and supporters, including Madonna. The last photo here, by an unknown photographer, is not in the auction. It shows a packed limo returning from Madonna’s Malibu wedding to Sean Penn in ’86 with Steve Rubell, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Tom Cruise (believe it or not) Maripol and on the far right, Martin. Sadly, Steve, Andy, Keith, Martin and too many others would be gone by the end of the decade. Let’s hope Madonna gets wind of this auction and buys up everything, just for old times sake. Wasn’t he a beautiful boy? NOTE: I had a conversation with Maripol this morning and the top photo WAS taken by her on the day of Madonna’s first album cover photo shoot. (Photos from the Estate of Martin Burgoyne; via Meyers Fine Art)