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Robert Mapplethorpe
Lisa + Milton + Thomas & Ken
Lola Mansfield, May 26, 2008
Robert Mapplethorpe_Lisa Lyon, 1982
Robert Mapplethorpe_Lisa Lyon, 1982
 
Mapplethorpe took his first photographs soon thereafter, using a Polaroid camera. He did not consider himself a photographer, but wished to use his own photographic images in his paintings, rather than pictures from magazines. "I never liked photography," he is quoted as saying, "Not for the sake of photography. I like the object. I like the photographs when you hold them in your hand."His first Polaroids were self-portraits and the first of a series of portraits of his close friend, the singer-artist-poet Patti Smith. These early photographic works were generally shown in groups or elaborately presented in shaped and painted frames that were as significant to the finished piece as the photograph itself. The shift to photography as Mapplethorpe's sole means of expression happened gradually during the mid-seventies. He acquired a large format press camera and began taking photographs of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.  During the 1980s, he continued to challenge the definition of photography by introducing new techniques and formats to his oeuvre: color Polaroids, photogravure, platinum prints on paper and linen, Cibachomes and dye transfer color prints, as well as his earlier black-and-white gelatin silver prints. He died of AIDS in 1989 at the age of 42.

Robert Mapplethorpe_Lisa Lyon, 1981
Robert Mapplethorpe_Lisa Lyon, 1981
 
Robert Mapplethorpe_Lisa Lyon, 1982
Robert Mapplethorpe_Lisa Lyon, 1982
 
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