Friday, August 14, 2015

Robert Mapplethorpe X,Y & Z Portfolios

 Robert Mapplethorpe was an American photographer, known for his sometimes controversial large-scale, highly stylized black and white photography.
Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-portrait 1980
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 bondage and sadomasochistic (BDSM) scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City. The homo-eroticism of this work fueled a national debate over the public funding of controversial artwork.

X Portfolio

Y Portfolio

Z Portfolio
Smith was a longtime roommate of Mapplethorpe and a frequent subject in his photography, including a stark, iconic photograph that appears on the cover of Smith's first album, Horses.
She wrote of him...

Robert took areas of dark human consent and made them into art. He worked without apology, investing the homosexual with grandeur, masculinity, and enviable nobility. Without affectation, he created a presence that was wholly male without sacrificing feminine grace. He was not looking to make a political statement or an announcement of his evolving sexual persuasion. He was presenting something new, something not seen or explored as he saw and explored it. Robert sought to elevate aspects of male experience, to imbue homosexuality with mysticism. As Cocteau said of a Genet poem, "His obscenity is never obscene."
—Patti Smith, Just Kids [her memoirs]

Exhibition of Mapplethorpe's work (photo by Robert Marin)

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