Trannyshack UK - The Photo Book
By James Andrew Yardley

Saturday, 28 March 2009

R o b e r t    M a p p l e t h o r p e  

N u d e    M a l e s    &    F e m a l e s 

P o r t r a i t s 

Robert Mapplethorpe born 1946 in Long Island America, grew up and attended the Pratt institute in Brooklyn, he produced a large amount of work during his time there, including painting, sculptures and some mediums of photography. His first work included tearing images and font from magazines and making them into pieces of art, he was greatly inspired by Andy Warhol and has a passion for following Warhol's work, he was one of Warhol's greatest admirers and in the end got the opportunity to photograph him.

Mapplethorpe first began shooting in Polaroid soon after leaving the Pratt Institute, he never considered himself a photographer however loved using his own images in his painting and other pieces he put together.“I never liked photography,” he is quoted as saying when previously questioned “Not for the sake of photography. I like the object. I like the photographs when you hold them in your hand.” His first set of polaroid photographs were purely self portraits with the occasional portrait of his close friends. 

He later acquired a large format Camera and again photographed himself and his friends, often Mapplethorpe's friends were from an outrageous scene, he photographed Socialites, Porn Stars, S&M Underground members and music composers. He had a very varied and distinctive way of photographing people. His photographs were very erotic and homo-erotic based, that created shock in the art world, the images were seen as crude and distasteful however they were made in the most poetic and beautiful way, as far as technical ability Mapplethorpe was a master, and that I feel comes across so obviously. 

I honestly feel when looking at his work that he has a deeper connection to photography than just taking the photo, or taking it for money or for fame, he took those photographs because he loves photography on every level, and I can really appreciate that, I'm a huge, huge fan of his work and I feel I will be a fan for many years to come. 

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