American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989) is one of the most influential artists of the late-20th century. His work revealed the true beauty of any subject, no matter how provocative. Showcasing iconic images of celebrity friends and elegant floral still lifes as well as graphic depictions of New York’s sadomasochistic subculture, Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium, a retrospective exhibition, seamlessly encapsulates Mapplethorpe’s complex personality and boundary pushing style.
Concurrent exhibitions at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art highlight different aspects of the artist’s enduring and provocative legacy.
Image above: Self-Portrait, 1980, Robert Mapplethorpe. Gelatin silver print. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
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I love this exhibit by Robert Mapplethorpe and am so thrilled that the LACMA has brought him back along with a sister exhibit at the Getty. His work is provocative, progressive, and this exhibition is an ode to beauty. Despite the shock factor that some may get from his work, the shocking pieces juxtapose beautifully against the sophisticated classic pieces. This exhibit is full of contradictions (which makes it interesting and beautiful) and I highly recommended it.