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Robert Mapplethorpe

Photographer

1946 - 1989 Floral Park, New York, U.S.A
BIT ABOUT ME

It was not Mapplethorpe’s original intention to be a photographer, and from 1970 to 1974, he mainly made assemblage constructions that incorporate images of men from pornographic magazines with found objects and painting. In order to create his own images for these collages, Mapplethorpe turned to photography, initially using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. Interested in portraiture, Mapplethorpe worked as a staff photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine. He also produced album covers for Smith and the group Television, and at the same time photographed socialites and celebrities such as John Paul Getty III and Carolina Herrera. - guggenheim.org

In the late 70s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S & M scene. The resulting photographs are shocking for their content and remarkable for their technical and formal mastery. Mapplethorpe told ARTnews in late 1988, "I don't like that particular word 'shocking.' I'm looking for the unexpected. I'm looking for things I've never seen before … I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them." - mapplethorpe.org

In the 1980s, he concentrated on studio photography, specifically nudes, flowers, and formal portraits that are considerably more refined than his earlier work. After Mapplethorpe died from an AIDS-related illness, his work precipitated national controversy when it was included in “The Perfect Moment,” a traveling exhibition funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. - artsy.net

 

Robert Mapplethorpe ( November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) was an American photographer, known for his sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial subject-matter in the large-scale, highly stylized black and white medium of photography. His work featured an array of subjects, including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, self-portraits and still-life images of flowers. His most controversial work is that of the underground BDSM scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s of New York City. 

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Latest articles
'He was a sexual outlaw': my love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe
The dungeons and diamonds, the penthouses and pillow talk … Jack Fritscher relives his love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe – the hustler with a Hasselblad whose sexually explosive photographs thrilled and horrified America
Robert Mapplethorpe’s Proud Finale
The tragic news that Robert Mapplethorpe was sick with AIDS coincided ironically with the zenith of his critical acclaim as a photographer. His controversial portraits of the beau monde and the leather-bar underworld unflinchingly confronted the era of dangerous sex. Here, as he courageously orchestrates his own exit from the world stage, he talks to Dominick Dunne
Why Mapplethorpe Still Matters
In a midcareer self-portrait, Robert Mapplethorpe depicted himself as a devil, with a bullwhip for a tail. But he ended up on the side of the angels. In 1989, a traveling survey of his work, with pictures of extreme homosexual acts, pushed the American culture wars into high gear.
Books
Robert Mapplethorpe: Flowers http://a.co/fW0o1e0
Robert Mapplethorpe: Polaroids http://a.co/3MolQhF
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Nymph Photography http://a.co/0YEosLD
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Archive http://a.co/82zvA4b
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs http://a.co/8CVSUnd
Mapplethorpe http://a.co/8o6sBl2