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. The black and white shot, showing two men dressed from head to toe in leather, was called Larry and Bobby Kissing. Look at the pictures. Robert left a legacy of thousands of beautiful photographs of faces, flowers and fetishes when he died of Aids on 9 March at the age of He had assaulted American concepts of race, sex, gender and morality. Born in Floral Park, New York, in , he was on trial all of his short life, anti-gay legislation making him a sexual outlaw.
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'He was a sexual outlaw': my love affair with Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe’s Photography: BDSM and Beyond – Scene
True artists are distinguished by the complex emotions they bring to the artistic process and by the enduring impact of their art. In the s Robert Mapplethorpe , in his 20s, conceived of a successful career as a photographer. From the start, his work stunned the art world. More than 25 years since his death, his influence on photography—and on the question of what constitutes art—continues to ripple through the culture. Mapplethorpe exhibits are a perennial staple at progressive art museums. With a precise sense of vision and the passionate soul of an artist, Mapplethorpe confronts us with bold images, many of them taken in an underground world of bondage and danger.
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Robert Mapplethorpe’s Photography: BDSM and Beyond
Robert Mapplethorpe twists toward the camera, eyes defiant, back arched, his shock of chestnut hair standing on end. A sampling of all such images are currently on display in Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now , the first of a two-part, yearlong exhibition of work by the artist and his contemporaries at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. But really, to understand why Mapplethorpe continues to endure and provoke 30 years after his death, all anyone has to do is look at the pictures themselves.
His life and career were characterised by inherent dualities. The photographs draw on a rich and storied history of artists depicting flora — from the Dutch masters, whose gloomy reimaginings placed wilting blooms next to preying insects and glazed shells, to the black and white studies Helmut Newton made in the late s. The magnetism is undeniable.