Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe (* 4. November 1946 in New York town center; † 9. March 1989 in bad clay/tone) was an US-American photographer and artist.

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Robert Mapplethorpe was born 1946 as the third of six children of a catholic worker family in Floral park in New Yorker quarters the Queens. To the conclusion of the school it went when desired its parents to the Pratt of institutes. There he came with the 68er-Bewegung into contact. During the study he became acquainted with also Patti Smith and fell in love with at that time unknown musicians and Poetin. The two pulled and Mapplethorpe together deepened its work on own works of art.

It locked the study finally with a Bachelor OF Fine kind . Its first works contained still no own photos however often of pictures, which it had taken out of books or magazines. Soon thereafter he began to work also with first own pictures, which he took up with a Polaroid camera. Later he said about this time:

“I caught on to understand that photography could be art. ”

Starting from beginning of the 80's Mapplethorpe was noticed by a larger public, first in New York town center. Many personalities left themselves from him, among other things Andy to haven RA animals be-get, Deborah Harry, smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Gere, Peter Gabriel, Grace Jones, and Patti Smith. It became in to be able to be photographed from Mapplethorpe. The majority of its photographs developed in its own Studio or in one of the innumerable New Yorker LOFT. Its photographs were always simply, photographed before white or black background.

Contrary to its pictures, on which it shows quiet lives with flowers or Portraits socially recognized actor and artist selected Mapplethorpe also or straight controversy topics.

Its naked work showed frequently homoerotische motives which from rather classical floats up to BDSM - scenes were enough. Mapplethorpe became in particular by its Portfolio X series admits. In particular in the angelsäxischen area led the series financed by the US-American national Education Association to a controversy, after became that admits the artist had selfhaven-guessed/advised made it with einerin to its Anus introduced bull whip shows [1].

Mapplethorpes work were shown in the USA frequently in publicly financed exhibitions. Many conservative and religious groups like e.g. the American Family Association protested regularly against it such works of art to promote. The artist moved representative within this range, of the total topic, into the center of the public discussion in the USA about art promotion. In the year 1990 he presented containing exhibition The Perfect in Cincinnati its sieved sadomasochistische of haven advice moment . Into consequence of the exhibition it came to the futile attempt the Cincinnati Contemporary kind centers and his director Dennis Barrie because of the exhibition obzönen material (Pandering Obscenity) in one legal proceedings to condemn. The events were filmed with James Woods in the role of the director of museum under the title Dirty Pictures in the year 2000.

Mapplethorpe lived a very excessive life, which was coined/shaped by drugs and numerous homosexual and heterosexual relations. It became to be familiar that Mapplethorpe had infected itself with AIDS, quick the prices for its photos up. In December 1988 it sold photos in the value of 500.000 US Dollar. Its Exfreundin Patti Smith visited it still briefly before its death in the hospital.

Robert Mapplethorpe died in the morning 9. March 1989 in a bad toner hospital at the consequences of an AIDS infection.


  • Morrisroe, Patricia: Mapplethorpe: A Biography, since Capo press, 1997, ISBN 0-306-80766-1
  • Arthur C. Danto (1996) Playing with the Edge: the photo graphics Achievement OF Robert Mapplethorpe (University OF California press: London and Los Angeles)
  • Gary Banham (2002) “Mapplethorpe, Duchamp and the Ends OF Photography” Angelaki 7,1


  • 2000: Dirty Pictures IMDb (only English) (the film is based on the procedure in Cincinnati)

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| | * Literature of and over Robert Mapplethorpe in the catalog of the DDB



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