8″ x 10″ B/W Photograph. Robert Michael Mapplethorpe November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989 was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photographs. His work featured an array of subjects, including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, self-portraits, and still-life images. His most controversial works documented and examined the gay male BDSM subculture of New York City in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A 1989 exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s work, titled Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment, sparked a debate in the United States concerning both use of public funds for “obscene” artwork and the Constitutional limits of free speech in the United States. Born Robert Michael Mapplethorpe. Queens, New York City, U. Died March 9, 1989 (aged 42). John Cemetery, New York City. Mapplethorpe was born in the Floral Park neighborhood of Queens, New York, the son of Joan Dorothy (Maxey) and Harry Irving Mapplethorpe, an electrical engineer. He was of English, Irish, and German descent, and grew up as a Catholic in Our Lady of the Snows Parish. Mapplethorpe attended Martin Van Buren High School, graduating in 1963. He had three brothers and two sisters. One of his brothers, Edward, later worked for him as an assistant and became a photographer as well. He studied for a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he majored in Graphic Arts, though he dropped out in 1969 before finishing his degree. Mapplethorpe lived with his girlfriend Patti Smith from 1967 to 1972, and she supported him by working in bookstores. They created art together, and maintained a close friendship throughout Mapplethorpe’s life. Mapplethorpe’s studio at 24 Bond Street in the NoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, later kept by him for use as a darkroom. Mapplethorpe took his first photographs in the late 1960s or early 1970s using a Polaroid camera. In 1972, Mapplethorpe met art curator Sam Wagstaff, who would become his mentor, lover, patron, and lifetime companion. In the mid-1970s, Wagstaff acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and Mapplethorpe began taking photographs of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, including artists, composers, and socialites. During this time, he became friends with New Orleans artist George Dureau, whose work had such a profound impact on Mapplethorpe that he restaged many of Dureau’s early photographs. From 1977 until 1980, Mapplethorpe was the lover of writer and Drummer editor Jack Fritscher, who introduced him to the Mineshaft (a members-only BDSM gay leather bar and sex club in Manhattan). Mapplethorpe took many pictures of the Mineshaft and was at one point its official photographer. After dinner I go to the Mineshaft. By the 1980s, Mapplethorpe’s subject matter focused on statuesque male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and highly formal portraits of artists and celebrities. Mapplethorpe’s first studio was at 24 Bond Street in Manhattan. In the 1980s, Wagstaff bought a top-floor loft at 35 West 23rd Street for Robert, where he resided, also using it as a photo-shoot studio. He kept the Bond Street loft as his darkroom. In 1988, Mapplethorpe selected Patricia Morrisroe to write his biography, which was based on more than 300 interviews with celebrities, critics, lovers, and Mapplethorpe himself. Mapplethorpe died at the age of 42 due to complications from HIV/AIDS in a Boston hospital on March 9, 1989. His body was cremated. His ashes are interred at St. John’s Cemetery, Queens in New York City, at his mother’s grave-site, etched Maxey. Patricia Lee Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, poet, painter, and author who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses. Born December 30, 1946 (age 76). Origin Deptford Township, New Jersey, U. Punk rock art punk proto-punk art rock. Singer songwriter poet painter author. Called the “punk poet laureate”, Smith fused rock and poetry in her work. Her most widely known song, “Because the Night”, co-written with Bruce Springsteen, reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978 and number five on the UK Singles Chart. In 2005, Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In November 2010, Smith won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids. The book fulfilled a promise she made to her former long-time partner Robert Mapplethorpe. She is ranked 47th on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, which was published in 2010 and was also a recipient of the 2011 Polar Music Prize.
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