New YorkRobert Mapplethorpe: Artist Portraits
Mignoni presents Robert Mapplethorpe: Artist Portraits, a solo exhibition comprised of some of the artists most iconic representations of celebrity cultural figures within the art world.
Throughout his career, Mapplethorpe photographed models, singers, songwriters, artists, and celebrities, in addition to members of New York’s cultural underbelly. Portrayed in this exhibition are individuals who defined the boundaries of art and culture in the late twentieth century through the lens of one of the most esteemed photographers of the era.
Mapplethorpe is most recognized for his monochromatic photography. However, the artist experimented with Polaroids, collages, and mixed-media constructions. He also worked in color, in a small body of work late in his career. Despite the sexual nature of his work, which in some contexts has been considered controversial, the idea of classical form and beauty are central to his work. His photographs are masterfully composed, lit, and balanced and are known to have immortalized the culture of a defining American generation.
Robert Mapplethorpe is among the most acclaimed and controversial artists of the late-twentieth century. Mapplethorpe (1946 –1989) was born in Floral Park, Queens. He worked predominantly in black and white photography. His subjects included many classical photographic tropes, such as elegantly composed floral still lifes, iconic self-portraits, nudes, and photographs of renowned cultural figures.
Mapplethorpe is best known for his erotic photography, which he referred to as “pornographic.” Throughout the 1960s and 70s Mapplethorpe produced a body of homoerotic pictures, which many Americans found offensive, and resulted in debate over public funding for the arts. This body of work documented New York subcultures and sexual acts associated with BDSM culture. In addition to explicit sexual acts, Mapplethorpe captured subjects which were historically relegated to the periphery of art. Examples of such subjects included the black male nude, female bodybuilders, and homosexual acts. These images challenged notions of high art, culture, and societal taboos.
all images © the gallery and the artist(s)