Thursday, April 7, 2016

Robert Mapplethorpe's Interest in Christianity and Altars

ALPHA OMEGA ARTS
"Tie Rack" (1969) by Robert Mapplethorpe. Jointly acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The J. Paul Getty Trust. Not currently on public view
CALIFORNIA---In a historic collaboration, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The J. Paul Getty Trust jointly acquired "The Tie Rack" by Robert Mapplethorpe. It is a reproduction of a painting of female saint in an artist-constructed frame with two black ties on each side with a metal crucifix suspended from it. This birthday gift for Patti Smith in 1969 is not what we typically associate with Mappelthorpe but it highlights his interest in religion and in creating little "altars." This summer, LACMA presents a major retrospective examining the career of Robert Mapplethorpe.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium" (Ends July 31, 2016); 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA; (323) 857-6010; lacma.org

2 comments:

The Tech Online Edition 1990 said...

Raised in a strict Catholic family, Mapplethorpe was influenced by the rigidity of his religion in his later work in every way. The cross imagery and its accompanying symmetry also appear dramatically in his 1987 construction "Andy Warhol," where a photograph of the enigmatic artist is framed inside a square-shaped cross. Warhol, his silver wig surrounded by a glowing halo, has a look on his face like a Christ stunned at the revelation of his own godhood. Religious sentiments figure strongly in "Tie Rack" as well, with stickpins piercing stigmata on a figure of the Virgin Mary and a crucifix suspended from floss wound around the pins. Mapplethorpe was very conscious of these religious undertones and was quoted in one interview as saying: "I was a Catholic boy, I went to church every Sunday. A church has a certain magic and mystery for a child. It still shows in how I arrange things. It's always little altars."

Ernest Disney-Britton said...

The Tie Rack was Robert Mapplethorpe's birthday gift to Patti Smith on December 30. 1969. It is a reproduction of a painting of female saint in an artist-constructed frame with two black ties on each side with a metal crucifix suspended from it. This is a unique piece and not what we typically associate with Robert Mappelthorpe except that it continues his interest in creating little "altars."