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Robert Mapplethorpe Art

American, 1946-1989

Robert Mapplethorpe was born on November 4, 1946, in Floral Park, New York. He left home in 1962 and enrolled at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, in 1963, where he studied painting and sculpture and received his BFA in 1970. During this time, he met artist, poet, and musician Patti Smith. She encouraged his work and posed for numerous portraits when they lived together in Brooklyn and in the Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan, a gathering place for artists, writers, and musicians in the early 1970s.

It was not Mapplethorpe’s original intention to be a photographer, and from 1970 to 1974, he mainly made assemblage constructions that incorporate images of men from pornographic magazines with found objects and painting. In order to create his own images for these collages, Mapplethorpe turned to photography, initially using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. Interested in portraiture, Mapplethorpe worked as a staff photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine. He also produced album covers for Smith and the group Television, and at the same time photographed socialites and celebrities such as John Paul Getty III and Carolina Herrera.

Mapplethorpe had his first substantial shows in 1977, both in New York: an exhibition of photographs of flowers at the Holly Solomon Gallery and one of male nudes and sadomasochistic imagery at the Kitchen. Mapplethorpe’s diverse work — homoerotic images, floral still lifes, pictures of children, commissioned portraits, mixed-media sculpture — is united by the constancy of his approach and technique. The surfaces of his prints offer a seemingly endless gradation of blacks and whites, shadow and light, and regardless of subject, his images are both elegant and provocative. In the mid-to-late 1980s, returning to the sculptural use of photography seen in his early assemblages, Mapplethorpe created sensual diptychs and triptychs of photographs printed on fabric and luxurious cloth panels.

In 1988, four major exhibitions of Mapplethorpe’s work were organized: by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and the National Portrait Gallery, London. Mapplethorpe died due to complications from AIDS on March 9, 1989, in Boston.

Find original Robert Mapplethorpe photography on 1stDibs.

(Biography provided by Cerbera Gallery)

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Artist: Robert Mapplethorpe
Patti Smith Horses vinyl 1st Pressing (Robert Mapplethorpe Patti Smith)
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Patti Smith Horses Vinyl Record Album, 1975: US 1st Pressing featuring original photography by Robert Mapplethorpe. Produced by John Cale. Cover: Very Good to Excellent overall vint...
Category

1970s Pop Art Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

Offset

Gardenia
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Robert Mapplethorpe earned his place in the canon from his incredible output of images that ranged from beautiful to brutal. Mapplethorpe was one of the key artists who helped elevat...
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1970s American Modern Robert Mapplethorpe Art

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Silver Gelatin

William S. Burroughs
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in Kansas City, MO
Robert Mapplethorpe William S. Burroughs Photograph Year: 1982 Size: 9.8 × 7.8 inches Edition C.L.A.G Carl Laszlo, Basel Gallery COA provided Robert Mapplethorpe was born November...
Category

1980s American Modern Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

C Print

William S. Burroughs (Stamped)
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in Kansas City, MO
Robert Mapplethorpe William S. Burroughs Photograph Year: 1982 Size: 9.8 × 7.8 inches Stamped verso Gallery COA provided Robert Mapplethorpe was born November 4, 1946, in Floral Pa...
Category

1980s American Modern Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

C Print

Bill T. Jones
By Robert Mapplethorpe
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Artist: Robert Mapplethorpe, American (1946 - 1989) Title: Bill T. Jones Year: 1985 Medium: Gelatin Silver Print Photograph, signed, titled and stamped verso Image Size: 18.5 x 1...
Category

1980s Contemporary Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

Silver Gelatin

LEIGH LEE / THE Z PORTFOLIO
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Robert Mapplethorpe's place in the canon was earned from his incredible output of images that ranged from beautiful to brutal. Mapplethorpe was one of the key artists who helped elev...
Category

1980s American Modern Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

Silver Gelatin

Jon Thor, Black and White Portrait Photography of Pop Culture Male Bodybuilder
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in New york, NY
Jon Thor, 1982 by Robert Mapplethorpe, 20" x 16", is a vintage gelatin silver, unique (1/1) print, signed recto (front of photo) lower right, with annotations on recto (dedication to...
Category

1980s Contemporary Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

Photographic Film, Silver Gelatin, Photographic Paper

SILVER DOLLAR (COLOR)
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in Aventura, FL
Dye-transfer print, flush-mounted. The photographer's copyright stamp, signed and dated in ink, and with title, date, and edition 'A. P. #D' in ink on the reverse. Frame size 30 x 33...
Category

1980s Photorealist Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

Dye Transfer

Derrick Cross
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in Kansas City, MO
Artist: Robert Mapplethorpe Title: Derrick Cross Medium: Gelatin silver print Size: 16 x 20" Year: 1982 Edition: 10 Robert Mapplethorpe was born November 4, 1946, in Floral Park, Ne...
Category

1980s Pop Art Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

Silver Gelatin

Derrick Cross
By Robert Mapplethorpe
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gelatin silver print nude photography male photography BIO- Robert Mapplethorpe was born November 4, 1946, in Floral Park, New York. He left home in 1962 and enrolled at the ...
Category

1980s Contemporary Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

Silver Gelatin

Orchid By Robert Mapplethorpe
By Robert Mapplethorpe
Located in Morton Grove, IL
Photogravure Signed Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989) Black and white photogravure titled "Orchid" Signed in pencil lower right, dated 1987. Edition of 30. Blind stamp lowe...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Modern Robert Mapplethorpe Art

Materials

Photographic Paper

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Robert Mapplethorpe art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Robert Mapplethorpe art for sale. You can also search for art by Robert Mapplethorpe in silver gelatin print, photographic paper, and more by medium. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th Century and is mostly associated with the Pop Art style. Not every interior allows for large Robert Mapplethorpe art, so small editions measuring 7.800000190734863 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Lillian Bassman, William Coupon and Robert Farber. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at US$100 and tops out at US$48,000 while the average work can sell for US$26,250.

Artists Similar to Robert Mapplethorpe

Questions About Robert Mapplethorpe Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Robert Mapplethorpe was known for his dramatic black and white photography. The American photographer's nude portraits, self-portraits and scenes from New York City's S&M clubs are particularly famous. On 1stDibs, you can find a variety of Robert Mapplethorpe photographic art.

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