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Robert Mapplethorpe

What are your opinions on his artwork and legacy? i love his work

interesting life to say the least

by Anonymousreply 10112/12/2017

Thomas and Dovanna

by Anonymousreply 112/02/2017

He was marvelous!

by Anonymousreply 212/02/2017

Gross racist dinge queen!! Glorified pornography photographer!

by Anonymousreply 312/02/2017

He took photos of Arnold.

by Anonymousreply 412/02/2017

He was talented and creative but also obviously partially unhinged. One of those push-the-envelope neurotics.

by Anonymousreply 512/02/2017

Don't ask.

by Anonymousreply 612/02/2017

None of his work is interesting nor does it stand any test of time. He was a softcore pornographer.

by Anonymousreply 712/02/2017

I LOVE Patti Smith. But Mapplethorpe? Eh... She exaggerated his greatness and influence. Like the previous poster said, he was a softcore pornographer. She loved him. I get it. But he wasn't all that.

by Anonymousreply 812/02/2017

Oh r6, that is so disgusting!

by Anonymousreply 912/02/2017

At his most beautiful. He did some good, possibly great, work outside of soft pornography.

by Anonymousreply 1012/02/2017

Owes his career to big black cocks. And artsy fartsy lighting.

by Anonymousreply 1112/02/2017


by Anonymousreply 1212/02/2017

You sound like a bitter Betty, R11.

by Anonymousreply 1312/02/2017

He was part of a secret circle of rich artsy types in NYC that had dark parties in Upper East Side townhouses which featured scat, drugs, and Satanism.

by Anonymousreply 1412/02/2017

Sounds like a poo shoes accusation.

by Anonymousreply 1512/02/2017

^^^it does, but in this case it’s true.

by Anonymousreply 1612/02/2017

He shot some nice album covers, in addition to the well-known Patti Smith ones

by Anonymousreply 1712/02/2017

Gross man. He and Patti Smith bonded over their mutual lust for social climbing and fame and starfucking. He finally found a rich older benefactor who paid for everything and allowed him to indulge his vices and peccadilloes in whichever way he pleased...mind you, now that I'm writing this, isn't that what we all kind of want?

So forget his "art" (read Patti's autobio and you'll be nauseated at their pretentiousness and phoniness), let's tip our hats to his gold-digging; the man obviously wielded a very irresistible shovel.

by Anonymousreply 1812/02/2017

His work is forgettable. Even when he’s trying to say something with it, it’s a one-shot deal.

by Anonymousreply 1912/02/2017

Mapplethorpe was a racist bigot. Fuck him.

by Anonymousreply 2012/02/2017

He was a 'documenter'. Not an artist.

His great images comes from documenting great things or people.

by Anonymousreply 2112/02/2017

He'd be in jail today. Some of his photos constitute child pornography.

by Anonymousreply 2212/02/2017

his study of flowers was magnificent.

so there.

by Anonymousreply 2312/02/2017

I'm surprised that there are so many negative appraisals here

by Anonymousreply 2412/02/2017

Kitsch, and nothing more.

Like a toddler saying "poo poo" because it gets a reaction from adults.

by Anonymousreply 2512/02/2017


by Anonymousreply 2612/02/2017

I like that one.

by Anonymousreply 2712/02/2017

Dear lord in heaven, r16! If not the moms, who will advocate for our precious tailed children so desperately in need of treatment? Who?

Prayers going up for this dear soul.

by Anonymousreply 2812/02/2017

R6, that is. I'm all flustered at the length of that thing!

by Anonymousreply 2912/02/2017

R6, I won't because you wouldn't know the answer.

R29, you mean the whip?

by Anonymousreply 3012/02/2017

His portraits are my favorite.

by Anonymousreply 3112/02/2017

Very talented - amazing portraits. Also surprised to see so much negativity here.

by Anonymousreply 3212/02/2017

He probably wasn’t the nicest guy, and his career was paid for by a rich and influential boyfriend. But he was talented, and aside from his subject matter, he created an unique visual aesthetic that has been endlessness copied by both art and commercial photographers to this day.

by Anonymousreply 3312/02/2017

This is supposed to be artistic. A naked black man with a shiny high-heel on his ass. Whatever.

by Anonymousreply 3412/03/2017

But is it art?

by Anonymousreply 3512/03/2017

He photographed the iconic Peter Berlin with his famous pageboy haircut.

by Anonymousreply 3612/03/2017

Nice cut!

by Anonymousreply 3712/03/2017

He and sugar daddy Sam Wagstaff actually look good together.

by Anonymousreply 3812/03/2017

[quote]Gross racist dinge queen!!

Oh, the irony.

by Anonymousreply 3912/03/2017

dirty pictures of genitalia

by Anonymousreply 4012/03/2017

I always know when I’m looking at one of his photos because of his signature lighting. Very uniquely talented, but also deranged, person.

by Anonymousreply 4112/03/2017

When I first moved to New York in the 1970s, I lived on West Houston Street. When I wanted cut flowers, I'd buy them from a florist at the corner of West Houston and Sixth. (The space had previously been a tiny Italian restaurant that closed when the owners were jailed for laundering Mafia money and is currently a Korean deli.) At any rate, I got to know the owner a little and he often bragged that Mappleworth was a close friend and bought his Calla Lilies from him.

I stopped going there when he tried to lure me into a scat scene in the back room. I won't repeat the tale he told me about the San Francisco cop with an elephant dung fetish who got his jollies by breaking into the zoo.

by Anonymousreply 4212/03/2017

^ I lnow, MAPPLETHORPE not MAPPLEWORTH! How did I do that?

by Anonymousreply 4312/03/2017

I remember waiting in line to view 'The Perfect Moment' at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, many years ago. One of the local newspaper critics (I think it was David Wecker) wrote something like, "He's a talented photographer. That was a perfect photo of one man's fist in another man's ass." I already owned his 'Black Book' back then (it now resides with my ex).

'Thomas' in R1's photo was porn performer Joe Simmons (I didn't really 'know' porn until later). His (Joe's) work is easy to find on different porn tube sites. I liked his (Robert's) work, but I'm not going to comment on his on-going value as an artist. He documented a very specific time in our history, as I don't think anyone other than Nan Goldin did.

by Anonymousreply 4412/03/2017

I meant to include a link.

by Anonymousreply 4512/03/2017

R17, I think that's Laurie Anderson.

by Anonymousreply 4612/03/2017

Correct, R46 - was just saying that besides the Patti Smith covers, he did some for others as well (maybe didn't word it well)

by Anonymousreply 4712/03/2017

We bought a zoo!

by Anonymousreply 4812/03/2017

The dick in OP's photo is the ugliest dick I've ever seen.

by Anonymousreply 4912/03/2017

You must be kidding. I'd be all over that hose.

by Anonymousreply 5012/03/2017

He was a great artist, but fit into the stereotype of great artists being tortured souls who are total shitheads to other people.

by Anonymousreply 5112/03/2017

[quote]Very talented - amazing portraits. Also surprised to see so much negativity here.

These people clearly have no idea how good Mapplethorpe was as a photographer. They only see his pics of black dicks or S/M scenes and fail to see beyond the subject matter. Racists and homophobic cunts obviously have problems with guys like Mapplethorpe.

by Anonymousreply 5212/04/2017

I NEVER got that Cult of Patti......she never did a thing for the grateful dead.....what? why? isn't she famous by association?

by Anonymousreply 5312/04/2017

R49 You are a smegmaphobe and a racist dreary. That is one beautiful dick.

by Anonymousreply 5412/04/2017

The documentary on him, Look at the Pictures, was pretty good. Brooke Shields was out of place in it, apparently it was a big deal he photographed her in profile.

by Anonymousreply 5512/04/2017

FUN FACT: Robert Mappelthorpe and former first lady Laura Bush were born on the same day, Nov. 4, 1946.

Unlike Laura Bush, though Robert Mappelthorpe never killed anyone.

by Anonymousreply 5612/04/2017

R56 We don't know that for sure!

by Anonymousreply 5712/04/2017

In the photography history class I took, he was hailed as a portrait artist. In the text, this self portrait was the photo that represented his work.

by Anonymousreply 5812/04/2017

A bottom with a camera will never be able to resist taking explicit photos of themselves and then showing them to as many people as possible.

by Anonymousreply 5912/04/2017

Porn is hot, cheap, thrilling (usually) His pictures are sort of lifeless and unsexy. Very stylish, though.

by Anonymousreply 6012/04/2017

Luc Sante wrote a good essay about Mapplethorpe that captured the complexity of his character and work - and mentioned the peculiar coldness of his most graphic pictures.

by Anonymousreply 6112/04/2017

R53 agree about Patti and the Dead. Never did a thing for me either.

by Anonymousreply 6212/04/2017

I took my mother to see this show at the ICA in Boston (where it was not banned and Led Zeppelin was). There were a few whiners around town - one lone protester showed up on opening day. Even Cardinal Law kept his fat yap shut about it.

Back then you could make arguments in favor of art and freedom of expression and they would usually win. These days, I don't know if Americans can muster up that much backbone.

Mom loved the show. She bought a calla lily print that was on the wall in her house until she died. Now I have it and it's a lovely reminder of a nice day with my mother who taught us to fear no art. I have no issue with anyone who criticizes Mapplethorpe's work on its artistic merits (or lack thereof). I may agree or disagree but at least it's a valid argument. The pearl clutchers need to shut the fuck up, especially here on the DL.

by Anonymousreply 6312/04/2017

I worked at his final show in the '80's @ the Whitney Museum . He was in a wheel chair and looked very wan, skinny , wasting away. Such a talent....So sad to lose him. I love his work.

by Anonymousreply 6412/04/2017

If you watched the HBO documentary mentioned above, you would see how ducked up he really was. He was a cruel, sel-serving egomaniac. His scat fetish and Satanism was confirmed. He had a thing for black men, who he referred to a n*****s, and blamed them for his contracting AIDS (although he'd been playing with/consuming shit, blood play. and engaging in bare backed sex all before/during the onset and rise of AIDS in NYC. As if that wasn't enough, he even had a pet monkey during his college years, that he let starve to death. After the animal's death, one of his friends said they came to Mapplethorpe's apartment, where Robert was boiling the flesh off the animal's bones. He was talented, but he was seriously fucked up. Had he never seduced Sam W., he'd have never been heard of.

by Anonymousreply 6512/04/2017

R65, please find your way back to whatever rock you crawled out from under.

by Anonymousreply 6612/04/2017

I still find it hard to believe anyone is into scat.

by Anonymousreply 6712/04/2017


by Anonymousreply 6812/04/2017

Vile sociopathic sex pig. Two trick pony - fetish porn and 80s corporate still lives and portraits for hanging in Wall St offices. Ugly, too.

by Anonymousreply 6912/04/2017

R65, your information is 100% correct.

Mapplethorpe was a racist. He was obsessed with black men, ye called them the N word constantly. He was definitely into scat.

Read his ex lover's biography on Mapplethorpe, it's free online. IIRC, his ex lover was the editor of DRUMMER. I forgot his name, but it's sure some insightful reading.

by Anonymousreply 7012/04/2017

R66 he is stating facts, I have seen the interview with his former roommate about the monkey. Mapplethorpe was an evil bastard.

by Anonymousreply 7112/04/2017

Not read the whole thread here's the latest doc

by Anonymousreply 7212/04/2017

[quote]Back then you could make arguments in favor of art and freedom of expression and they would usually win. These days, I don't know if Americans can muster up that much backbone.

Haters hate and on the internet everyone is a critic with a voice joining other critics and their voices. Ther result is an internet lynch mob. Because the non-haters are usually like "whatever, man!" rolling their eyes and leaving.

by Anonymousreply 7312/04/2017

The scat thing is true, the racist thing is true, even the satanism is true. He was quite a character. I don’t know enough about photography to say whether his pictures are good. Everyone says they are, so what do I know? I like some of them. The one where he’s shitting the whip is pretty cool.

by Anonymousreply 7412/04/2017

Mapplethorpe's brother is actually an accomplished photographer, Edward Mapplethorpe. The brother actually printed a lot of Robert's photos. Photography isn't just about the subject, the composition and taking the photo, it's also about the print. Printing is very important to fine art photography.

I recall an interview with the brother, where he started Robert wasn't much interested in the printing, he usually left that to others.

“Robert had no interest in the technical side of photography,” said Patricia Morrisroe, who wrote his biography. “He never did his own printing, and his work grew in sophistication and proficiency when he brought his brother on.”

by Anonymousreply 7512/04/2017

R65 thanks for reconfirming what I stated about asshole Mapplethorpe further up thread. That he was a racist bigot and he was obsessed with black men. And he also referred to them as "N" words! His only purpose for them was to fetishsize them. And treat them as sex objects. As so many gay white men do. Instead of him taking responsibility for himself contracting aids. He blames black men for his promiscuous behavior.

Once again fuck him glad he's no longer of this world.

by Anonymousreply 7612/04/2017

"Fetishsize" indeed...

by Anonymousreply 7712/05/2017

Mapplethorpe: "Children are sexual beings"

by Anonymousreply 7812/05/2017
by Anonymousreply 7912/05/2017

He should have went to jail for the above, and others.

by Anonymousreply 8012/05/2017

It's no wonder he and Patti Smith clicked. They both were intensely full of themselves, both pretentious assholes,

and they both had only one goal: to be famous.

His "art" was mostly porno type shit. It was mean to be "shocking." I thought the best thing he did was the cover photo for Patti Smith's album "Horses."

He really was a piece of shit. Although racist, he loved black cock. He was mindlessly promiscuous and of course got AIDS. But even after getting AIDS he continued his reckless sexual behavior. It's said that he deliberately sought out black men after his AIDS diagnosis because eh thought he'd probably gotten in from a black man, so he could give back what he got. Robert Mapplethorpe was truly a horrible human being.

by Anonymousreply 8112/05/2017

He never would have been famous if he started in the internet age. People would have looked at his cock pictures and shrugged their shoulders. Patti Smith had one good song. Because the Night. Everything else she did was a horror show.

by Anonymousreply 8212/05/2017

Found the book by Mapplethorpe's ex-lover Jack Fritscher, Ph.D

He's offering the entire book online to read for free. It's also available to buy at Amazon. This is from Jack's website.

"Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera is a vivid, compelling story of a specific group at a specific time in a specific place, living in a Golden Age before AIDS and its lost civilization sank beneath a viral sea. This pop culture memoir contains sex, lies, greed, perversion, murder, deceit, infidelity, drugs, sex, immorality, scatology, ambition, equivocation, character assassination, slander, blasphemy, aspersion, betrayal, distortion, racism, ungodliness, sodomy-- and that's just the critics of Mapplethorpe."

by Anonymousreply 8312/05/2017

R80, you should go to Sad Grammar Jail.

This is my favorite Patti Smith...

by Anonymousreply 8412/06/2017

He gifted a few prints to Fran Lebowitz, but she thought they were of not much value and threw them out one time she moved homes. Yes, she regrets is.

by Anonymousreply 8512/06/2017

Besides the weird doppleganger relationship (they were like psychic twins) with Patti Smith, Mapplethorpe had a couple of other important relationships. The true love of his life was said to be Milton Moore, a very mentally disturbed black man from a poor background. Mapplethorpe thought he was a "perfect" specimen, his ideal black lover. It's Moore's cock hanging out of his fly in "Man In A Polyester Suit." Mapplethorpe was besotted with him, but looked down on him because he was black. He called Moore "a primitive" and Moore said Mapplethorpe viewed him as though he were 'a monkey in a zoo." The relationship was doomed of course. But it really was as close to true love (on Mapplethorpe's part, anyway) love as Mapplethorpe could get.

His other big relationship was with Sam Wagstaff. A handsome, rich, much older art collector, he became enamored of Mapplethorpe and became his Sugar Daddy. After his death (of AIDS) he left the majority of his fortune to Mapplethorpe.Mapplethorpe once said to Wagstaff that he loved him "as much as I can." Which really wasn't that much; Mapplethorpe was probably too self absorbed to really love anybody.

by Anonymousreply 8612/07/2017

Those black men that allowed themselves to be in a relationship with someone like Mapplethorpe. Is a fucking embarrassment and weak minded on their parts. I really hate black men like that. The ones who will put up with anything from "white lovers" for whatever reason. I know this isn't true of all black men. But I know plenty who won't date or have sex with white men anymore. Because of reasons presented by Mapplethorpe. No one wants to be a fetish. Especially not to a white men or women. it's degrading and dehumanizing in general and there's also historical context to it. I'm happy some have woken up. But we'll also always have a handful of lost negros who don't care. And just want what they want. As sad as that is it's the truth.

by Anonymousreply 8712/07/2017

He had a thing for foreskins.

by Anonymousreply 8812/07/2017

No one wants to say that Mapplethorpe was mentally ill? He was.

by Anonymousreply 8912/08/2017

He and his brother have that WASPy cold blue eyed look.

by Anonymousreply 9012/08/2017

"No one wants to say that Mapplethorpe was mentally ill? He was."

Maybe people don't say because it doesn't need to be said. That photo of him with a whip up his ass screams mental illness.

by Anonymousreply 9112/12/2017

He never impressed me one way or another. I was a disco hater then, and figured that anyone who liked disco would probably like him. I basically ignored both (to the degree possible in NY in the '70s).

by Anonymousreply 9212/12/2017

I was always impressed how he could evoke blue in his bw photos.

by Anonymousreply 9312/12/2017

Matt Smith is playing him in a movie biopic. I hope its not another pandering gay film with little actual gayness in it. There is no Jack Walls credit on IMDB.

by Anonymousreply 9412/12/2017

I knew him when he transitioned from Bobby to Bob, to Rob to Robert. He wasn't particularly nice to begin with, but he got less pleasant with each name change. As an art student, he was only averagely gifted, but he quickly developed a remarkable talent for shameless self-promotion. he saw everything as a competition, yet his ability to garner positive attention was never enough. He had to win, whatever the cost. He was consumed by petty jealousies, an unerring ability to find others' Achilles heels, a taste for the jugular, and enjoyed criticizing anyone and everyone he perceived as a threat. The more fragile and sensitive his targets, the more brutal his assaults; on the other hand, like a feral animal, he tended to be thin-skinned, whiny, cowardly and poisonously venomous when confronted.

Not surprisingly, he had few admirers and an understandably small number of friends. Those few he had, like Patti Smith, were specifically chosen because they were easily manipulated. Sadly, like worn out, broken tools, they were callously discarded when they ceased to be of use. A reading between the likes of "Just Kids" exposes him for exactly who he was in his youth, and Smith as his still unwitting victim.

No one who knew Mapplethorpe was in any way surprised by his unsubstantiated rise, and even less so by his inevitable fall.

by Anonymousreply 9512/12/2017

To me the question of whether or not Mapplethorpe is any good is partly whether or not you're still debating if photography is high art. I know he has his skeptics and you could argue he's a button pusher but as a body of work it's pretty memorable. It's not every photographer whose work is instantly recognizable as his is.

by Anonymousreply 9612/12/2017

He was still an asshole.

by Anonymousreply 9712/12/2017

[QUOTE] I was a disco hater then, and figured that anyone who liked disco would probably like him.

What an odd connection. Why would you think that? He seemed more Laurie Anderson and Talking Heads to me.

by Anonymousreply 9812/12/2017

"his inevitable fall" you mean his death from AIDS R95- was that his punishment, his "fall" for being as bad as you say? Wonder what you have done with your life? Is your work going to be hung in the great museums of the world for the foreseeable future. Or are you like Mayor Giuliani and want to censure him because you think his work was/is pornography?

Who cares if he was nice- he was an artist- big time and pushed photography in directions that it had never been. FYI, Picasso was an even bigger asshole. I understand he was pretty good too!

by Anonymousreply 9912/12/2017

r98 I knew who he was before I knew about Talking Heads, whose first LP, '77, I bought in '77. I don't think I heard of Laurie Anderson until the '80s.

by Anonymousreply 10012/12/2017

I’m not disputing it, it’s just seemed odd to me. Disco was so superficial and he was an artist plus friends with Patti Smith. I wonder if disco was played at the Mineshaft, or at any of the fisting/scat/Satanism parties he attended.

by Anonymousreply 10112/12/2017
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