Robert Mapplethorpe - Exhibition view, 2019 © Galería Elvira González

Robert Mapplethorpe

Self Portrait, 1980. © The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York

New York, USA, 1946 - Boston, USA, 1989
Website

I’m looking for the unexpected.
I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before.

Robert Mapplethorpe grew up on the outskirts of New York in a Catholic environment, with no ties to the art world. In 1963 he enrolled at the Pratt Institute of Art, in Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting and sculpture, and began to delve into the work of artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. In 1970 he acquired a Polaroid camera and started taking his first photographs, which he started incorporating to his collages. Progressively he abandoned collage to focus exclusively on photography, presenting in 1973 his first solo exhibition, Polaroids, at the Light Gallery, New York. During the following years Mapplethorpe intensely immersed himself in the hurricane of New York’s art scene, in a search to find his place, rapidly achieving an enormous social and cultural recognition.

Mapplethorpe attended the Pratt Institute of Art at a time marked by artistic currents such as body art, minimal and conceptual art, which made use of photography detached from its formal or aesthetic side.  In this context, Mapplethorpe rescued the formal emphasis that photography allows and incorporated it into his previous conceptual research. This process resulted in raw and direct images of sadomasochism combined with the most meticulous compositional direction, pure sexual acts with the most exact pictorial classicism, or a simple flower with the most exaggerated sensuality and eroticism. Mapplethorpe’s poetics demonstrated a total fusion between art and life, aesthetics and reality, in which his own life was placed at the centre.

Works

Robert Mapplethorpe, Ken Moody, 1984.
50 x 40,3 cm | 19 ⅝ x 15 ⅞ in.
Ed. AP.1/2.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Cabbage, 1985.
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission

Robert Mapplethorpe, Pear, 1985.
40,64 x 50,8 cm  | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 9/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission

Robert Mapplethorpe, 
Urn With Fruit, 1987.
50,8 x 61 cm
 | 20 x 24 in.
Ed. 7/7
Printing by additive process.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Lion Head with Ring, 1978.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Winter Landscape, 1979.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 4/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Branches, 1980.
41 x 51 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 12/15.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Puerto Rico, 1981
.
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Poppy, 1982.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 10/10.
Gelatin Silver Print
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Gourd, 1983.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 4/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Flower, 1983.
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 8/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Iris and Zinnia, 1984.
50,8 x 40,64 cm | 20 x 16 in.
Ed. 8/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Pheasant, 1984
.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. AP 2/2.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Bottega Veneta, 1984.
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 4/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Fish, 1985,
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 3/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Corn, 1985.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. AP 2/2.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Pineapple, 1985.
40.64 x 50.8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Leaf, 1987.
50,8 x 61 cm | 20 x 24 in.
Ed. 9/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Leaf, 1987.
50,8 x 61 cm.
Ed. 4/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Calla Lily, 1988.
50,8 x 61 cm
 | 20 x 24 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Whiting and Co. Water Pitcher, 1988.
50,8 x 61 cm | 20 x 24 in
Ed. 7/10.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Gorham 1881 Compote, 1988
.
50,8 x 61 cm | 20 x 24 in
Ed. 8/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Marcus Leatherdale
, 1978
.
50,8 x 61 cm | 20 x 24 in
Ed. 8/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Lyon, 1980.
40,6 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Lyon, 1982.
40,6 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in
.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Snakeman, 1981
.
40,6 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 12/15.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Ken Moody, 1984.
50 x 40,3 cm | 19 ⅝ x 15 ⅞ in.
Ed. AP.1/2.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Cabbage, 1985.
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission

Robert Mapplethorpe, Pear, 1985.
40,64 x 50,8 cm  | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 9/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission

Robert Mapplethorpe, 
Urn With Fruit, 1987.
50,8 x 61 cm
 | 20 x 24 in.
Ed. 7/7
Printing by additive process.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Lion Head with Ring, 1978.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Winter Landscape, 1979.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 4/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Branches, 1980.
41 x 51 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 12/15.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Puerto Rico, 1981
.
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Poppy, 1982.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 10/10.
Gelatin Silver Print
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Gourd, 1983.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 4/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Flower, 1983.
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 8/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Iris and Zinnia, 1984.
50,8 x 40,64 cm | 20 x 16 in.
Ed. 8/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Pheasant, 1984
.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. AP 2/2.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Bottega Veneta, 1984.
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 4/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Fish, 1985,
40,64 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 3/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Corn, 1985.
40,64 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. AP 2/2.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Pineapple, 1985.
40.64 x 50.8 cm | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Leaf, 1987.
50,8 x 61 cm | 20 x 24 in.
Ed. 9/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Leaf, 1987.
50,8 x 61 cm.
Ed. 4/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Calla Lily, 1988.
50,8 x 61 cm
 | 20 x 24 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Whiting and Co. Water Pitcher, 1988.
50,8 x 61 cm | 20 x 24 in
Ed. 7/10.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Gorham 1881 Compote, 1988
.
50,8 x 61 cm | 20 x 24 in
Ed. 8/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Marcus Leatherdale
, 1978
.
50,8 x 61 cm | 20 x 24 in
Ed. 8/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Lyon, 1980.
40,6 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Lyon, 1982.
40,6 x 50,8 cm | 16 x 20 in
.
Ed. 5/10.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Snakeman, 1981
.
40,6 x 50,8 cm
 | 16 x 20 in.
Ed. 12/15.
Gelatin Silver Print.
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.