Monday, April 4, 2016

Critics Notebook: Why Saint Robert Mapplethorpe Still Matters

THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Holland Cotter
“Derrick Cross” (1983), part of “The Perfect Medium,” a joint show of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
CALIFORNIA---In a midcareer self-portrait, Robert Mapplethorpe depicted himself as a devil, with a bullwhip for a tail. But he ended up on the side of the angels. In 1989, a traveling survey of his work, with pictures of extreme homosexual acts, pushed the American culture wars into high gear. Religious groups raged. A new Mapplethorpe, Saint Robert, was born. A quarter-century later, canonization is complete. In Los Angeles, a doubleheader retrospective, “Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium,” is on view at both the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A documentary film, “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures,” will have its debut Monday on HBO. [link]

The J. Paul Getty Museum: "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium" (Ends July 31, 2016). 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA; (310) 440-7300; getty.edu