Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures
Welcome to the x-rated world of Robert Mapplethorpe, the man who single-handedly changed the way people viewed polaroid photography. Totally obsessed with success and celebrity, he rose through the ranks of Manhattan’s art scene in the Studio 54 era, quickly gaining notoriety through his photographs of the gay BDSM scene and nude black men. “To be in Robert’s world you had to be rich, famous or have sex with him,” says a one-time partner and model. Using an upcoming Getty and LACMA joint exhibition of his work as a springboard, directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato dive into the Robert Mapplethorpe archives and talk to his friends and family, marvelously accomplishing their mission of humanising one of the most notorious, yet complex figures in 20th century photography.