Mapplethorpe – A Biography

The following selected text comes from the book titled above by Patricia Morrisroe 1995

Their own sexual relationship, though, was less than satisfactory, and while she loved him, she didn’t feel passionate about him.

Mapplethorpe was disheartened whenever anybody failed to appreciate his art, yet he never questioned his talent. The positive feeling he had as a child – the ‘certain magic’ running through his fingers – sustained him as an adult. ‘I always thought I was good,’ he said, ‘That’s why it was so frustrating when other people didn’t agree.’

‘I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today’s existence.’ – Robert Mapplethorpe

‘Sometimes I’de get very physically uncomfortable looking at the sexual pictures. They bought out things in my own unconscious that were terrifying’

‘How new is it for women to crouch, bare-assed, on her hands and knees in a lacy corset?’ asked Carol Squiers in ‘The Village Voice. ‘To expose her breasts, wear dark glasses, or to stare coldly at us, dressed in gorgeous clothing?’

These photographs from 1980 showed Mapplethorpe’s awareness that his own uniqueness derived in part from his willingness to cross the boundaries of sexuality, class, and gender.

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