Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photographs. His work featured an array of subjects, including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes self-portraits, and still-life images. His most controversial works documented and examined the gay male BDSM subculture of New York City in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He would refer to some of his own work as pornographic, with the aim of arousing the viewer, but which could also be regarded as high art.
Mapplethorpe took his first photographs in the late 1960s or early 1970s using a Polaroid camera. In 1972, Mapplethorpe met art curator Sam Wagstaff who would become his mentor, lover, patron, and lifetime companion. By the 1980s, Mapplethorpe’s subject matter focused on statuesque male and female nudes, highly formal portraits of artists and celebrities as well as delicate flower still lifes.
Patti 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.
Mapplethorpe died at the age of 42 due to complications from HIV/ AIDS.
1,From book Pistils, 1983
5,From book Pistils, 1983
10,From book Pistils, 1983