The photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe, 1946-1989, American, died of AIDS-related illness.
Self-Portrait, 1988, platinum-palladium print. Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY.
The artist’s last self-portrait before his death.
In the three years after his diagnosis in 1986, the artist organized the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to manage his estate, support the medium of photography in arts institutions and fund HIV/AIDS medical research.
Self-portrait, 1974, gelatin silver print in artist’s frame (light degradation). Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY is mounting a year-long exhibition from the 300 photographs and objects which were a bequest from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in 1993.
Self-portrait, 1981, gelatin silver print (light degradation). Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY
The artist’s own works for a half year; his wide influence on the works of others for half a year.
Self-portrait, 1985, platinum-palladium print. Photo from the web. Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY
The rich gender attributes the artist chose to express;
his open assumption of his sexual orientation during a time of the deep closet;
the control he effected over the standards of his work;
the debates about the publicization and public funding of his work;
his preparation for and courage in the face of his death
were and are instrumental in communicating the reality that there is no moral way of being human that is better than or superior to or inferior to any other way of being human.
Clearly, all moral judgments come with the doing.
We are at Stonewall 50.
Let those who did more to expand the reach and expression of human freedom cast the first stone at his magnificent doing. A legacy without price.
Self-portrait, 1980, gelatin silver print. Photo from the web. Solomon R. Guggenheim, NY