Influence or Coincidence: The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe


This week, Influence or Coincidence takes a slight St. Valentine’s day detour without getting overly cheesy. Find out which flowery photos from made the cut to be placed in the same article as Robert Mapplethorpe’s.

Derrick Cross, 1985 via

Robert Mapplethorpe is best known for his racy nudes and S&M shots. Racy in the 70s and 80s when he shot them, and still racy today 30 or so years later.

“I don’t like that particular word ‘shocking.’ I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before… I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them,” Mapplethorpe told ARTnews in the late 1988.

Tulip, 1988 via Galería Elvira González

But today’s subject is about Mapplethorpe’s delicate flower still lifes. Mapplethorpe began shooting his floral compositions in the 80s, some years before his death in 1989 brought on by the AIDS virus.

Poppy, 1988 via

The shots are bare, simple even, focused solely on the subject with no distractions. Composition is key and form lends itself to the ultimate task at hand — presenting the flower as a sculptural subject. I think that like in most of his Mapplethorpe’s photos, these shots reveal his art school background, a firm grounding in schooling which, not depending on the medium used, remains firmly ingrained in one’s work ethic.

Here are some more of the Mapplethorpe flower shots I’m talking about:

Calla Lily, 1984 via
Tulips, 1987 via

These are the ones taken by fellow lomographers which I find came closest to the style:

Credits: kleeblatt & simonh82

A special well done to troch and dwthompson, however. I think they came closest this week.

Credits: troch & dwthompson

Find out more about Robert Mapplethorpe at An extensive gallery of images can be found at

Influence or Coincidence by Fabrizio Soler is all about how very often, one thing reminds of something else, and how some photos on Lomography recall those of well-established, world-class photographers.

written by webo29 on 2012-02-21 #lifestyle #flowers #tulip #poppy #lily #composition #nudes #s-m #mapplethorpe #influence-or-coincidence


  1. webo29
    webo29 ·

    Congrats to @kleeblatt, @simonh82, @troch and @dwthompson : )

  2. troch
    troch ·

    Wow, I am truly honored to have a photo of mine on the same page as my favorite photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe! Thanks LSI and congrats to @kleeblatt, @simon82 and @dwthompson for their wonderful images!

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