Mapplethorpe, best known for his vast, provocative, and powerful body of work established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.
He was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. Of his childhood he said, “I come from suburban America. It was a very safe environment and it was a good place to come from in that it was a good place to leave.”
In 1963, Mapplethorpe enrolled at Pratt Institute in nearby Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he also experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages, including images cut from books and magazines.
In 1970 he and Patti Smith, whom he had met three years earlier, moved into the Chelsea Hotel. In memory of their friendship I have chosen a selection of self- and portraits of the two. Enjoy!
By: Tina Holth