Fotografiska in Stockholm is currently presenting a retrospective of nearly 200 of Mapplethorpe’s prints.
In 1970 Robert Mapplethorpe acquired a Polaroid camera. At the time, he mostly took photographs to incorporate them into collages. In less than two decades, Mapplethorpe would be dead, never to be forgotten as one of the masters of photography.
The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where Mapplethorpe studied drawing, painting, and sculpture is probably where he first became inspired by the sculptures of classical antiquity and the Renaissance. As an artist, he took this and made it his own by translating it into an aesthetic relevant to his time and culture: the New York gay scene of the 80’s. The resulting images are beautifully lit – stark bodies of muscular men (and women). Photographed decades ago, they still provoke and shock.
Mapplethorpe transitioned to studio photography in the mid-1970’s after obtaining a Hasselblad 500. Within his studio, Mapplethorpe was able to refine his technique and develop the visual language that distinguished him and made him the photographer known today.
Fotografiska of Stadsgårdshamnen 22,116 45, Stockholm is currently presenting a retrospective of these nearly 200 Mapplethorpe’s prints until October 2nd, 2011.