Who was Robert Mapplethorpe?
Robert Mapplethorpe is known for his magnificent black and white portraits that challenge his audience. Robert Mapplethorpe's career flourished in the 1980s with commercial projects by creating album covers for Patti Smith and the television band, as well as a series of portraits and photos of parties for Interview Magazine. After being diagnosed with AIDS (AIDS) in 1986, he accelerated his creative efforts and made increasingly ambitious projects. In 1988, a year before his death, he had his first major exhibition at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
The portrait of Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Queens, New York. At sixteen, he enrolled at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting and sculpture. At the beginning of his career, Robert Mapplethorpe was influenced by a series of artists, including Joseph Cornell and Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp, having experienced various techniques such as collage. In 1970, he bought a Polaroid camera to take pictures and use simultaneously collages. It has its first solo exhibition in 1973 on Light Gallery in New York called Polaroids. Two years later, Mapplethorpe bought a more sophisticated Hasselblad -shaped chamber, and began photographing the people he knew: artists, musicians, porn movie stars and other members of the New York underground scene. Regardless of those who photographed, all images are characterized by Mapplethorpe's style - their tireless pursuit of beauty without imperfections. The powerful bodies photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe recall the audience of the classic Greek sculptures, following the rules of symmetry and geometry that classic sculptors used.
Most of his portraits in the 1980s were prominent figures in the arts, such as Truman Capote, William Burroughs and Andy Warhol, and its portraits can be seen as a reflection of New York's 'cultural scene' at that time. In 1980, Robert Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first world champion of female bodybuilding, and worked together in various portraits and figure studies, including full -bodied and fragmented images. During this time, he also photographed the male figure of athletic African American men, including models, dancers and bodybuilders, all with muscular and well-defined bodies. Robert Mapplethorpe stated, "I concrete myself in the body part that I consider the most perfect part in that particular model." In 1984, he photographed Grace Jones, the singer, songwriter, model and Jamaican actress, known for her androgynous appearance and provocative behavior, being a prominent figure in New York's artistic and social scene. In the photograph, Grace Jones is with body painting created by the artist Keith Haring.
While body images are associated with beauty ideals, the portrait is often associated with identity and individuality. Self -portraits are perhaps the most complex type of portrait because the artist and model are the same person, and the image has a personal sensation, like a diary. Mapplethorpe experienced different aspects of his identity by presenting himself in various ways, from armed knives to transvestite. In the Book Right People: The Book of Portraits 14 1985, there is a quote from Mapplethorpe, noting that its self -portraits express its part most self -confidence. The cover image of this book is the work Self Portrait 1980, where the artist portrays with a black leather coat, dark shirt, cigarette in the corner of his mouth, cold look and a style of hairstyle of the 1950s, reminds us the Hollywood icons James Dean in the movie Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones (1953).
Robert Mapplethorpe and AIDS
In 1986, Robert Mapplethorpe was diagnosed with AIDS, the HIV syndrome. HIV/AIDS pandemic was one of the most significant international events of the 1980s and affected the lives of many friends and associated with Mapplethorpe. At the time, most of those diagnosed with the disease did not survive more than two years. Mapplethorpe's self -portrait at the end of his life reflected his precarious health, his pursuit of freedom, his suffering and mortality. Today Mapplethorpe's work can be found in the world's top museum collections and his legacy remains alive through the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. The Foundation was created in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art and finance medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIV -related infections.