Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why We'll Never Forget Robert Mapplethorpe

By Jerry Portwood
Portrait of Robert Mapplethorpe by Marcus Leatherdale, who was also one of his models and lovers. Marcus Leatherdale/courtesy of HBO
Robert Mapplethorpe decided he was an important artist long before he was even making important art. "Mapplethorpe's whole point was that art is about opening something up. And he wanted lots of people to write and to talk about his art and to tell his story," Bailey says. Growing up in 1950s Queens, New York, he escaped to art school in Brooklyn, searching for a way to transform himself. He was the outcast who took drugs and dressed weird, until he found his path to stardom. That ambition shines through in the new HBO documentary, "Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures." The film begins with the voice of Senator Jesse Helms exhorting everyone to, "Look at the pictures!" [link]