Thomas

Robert Mapplethorpe

Thomas , 1987

Photographs
20.0 x 24.0 Inches
Gelatin silver print
Edition of 10
$60,000
Includes 10% LiveArt Fee
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Signed and dated Copyright 1987 The Estate of Robert Mapplethorp

About the artwork

“I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today’s existence.”

About the artist

Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was an American photographer known for his black and white photographs, particularly those that documented the gay male BDSM culture in New York City. Mapplethorpe took a classic and traditional approach to his work; light, shadow, composition, and form were all central aspects to his photographs, whether it was a still life of flowers or a nude. Mapplethorpe started his artistic career with mixed-media collages that combined Polaroids he took with cut text, eventually turning to photography and experimenting with different photographic techniques, such as photogravures and Cibachrome throughout the years. His work garnered national attention in the late 1980s when the religious right scrutinized his art for its supposed obscenity, sparking a discussion as to whether the government should be funding the arts and in what ways. He died at the age of 42 in 1989 from an AIDS-related illness. One year prior, the Whitney Museum of American Art held the first major retrospective of his work, along with a traveling exhibition of his photographs that raised questions of censorship and the issue of public funding for the arts.

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