Art, Photography
Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait, 1980
Photograph: Courtesy Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Time Out says

Few photographers have obtained the mythic stature of Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–1989), whose style imparted an austere, almost brutal, beauty to controversial subject matter. Mapplethorpe’s large-format, black-and-white photos (produced, more often than not, within the controlled environs of a studio) reflected his life as a gay artist working in the Downtown demimonde of post-Stonewall, pre-AIDS new York—a period when the utopian promise of sexual liberation gave way to the fear of plague. Indeed, Mapplethorpe seemed to find a connection between eros and thanatos in almost all of his photos, from floral still-lives to homoerotic celebrations of the male body. Those images and more are recalled in this two-part retrospective marking the 30th anniversary of the his death.


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