Events – Observations-Paintings
Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Wagstaff
Robert Mapplethorpe the infamous and controversial photographer was born in Queens, New York in 1946. During the late sixties and early seventies he became involved with the musician and writer Patti Smith who believed in him and helped galvanize his unique vision. They lived together for a time at the Chelsea Hotel where they eked out an existence working in part time jobs trying to fund their artistic dreams. Mapplethorpe later met the well known art dealer Sam Wagstaff who had an enormous impact on his life both personally and professionally. Wagstaff was responsible for launching Mapplethorpe’s international career
The Irish Film Theatre is currently showing a documentary about Mapplethorpe and his work using rediscovered recordings. With his voice as the narrator he is shockingly candid about life, loves, and work. He was dedicated to making his chosen medium, photography, as respected and valued as a fine art and succeeded in doing so.
His final show, ‘The Perfect Moment’, which he planned while was terminally ill with AIDS, ignited a culture war that still reverberates today raising the conflict between what is art and what is pornography.
Robert Mapplethorpe died of AIDS-related complications in 1989 at the age of only 42 . His work continues to incite debate and raise questions about artistic censorship.