I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today’s existence.
The American artist Robert Mapplethorpe made a name for himself on the New York art scene in the 1970s, exploring his sexuality by turning his lens to the New York gay scene and by combining a classical aesthetic with violent eroticism, producing striking and visceral images.
Art is an accurate statement of the time in which it is made.
Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. In 1963, he enrolled at Pratt Institute in nearby Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he also experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages, including images cut from books and magazines. He acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970 from artist and filmmaker Sandy Daley and began producing his own photographs to incorporate into the collages, saying he felt 'it was more honest.'
In the late 1970s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S&M scene....