Some see him as famous, some as notorious because of what can be perceived as obscene imagery, but the truth is, Mapplethrope was the conceiver of unique poetics, making the hidden and the tabooed accessible to the masses.
At the peak of his career, he was beaten by AIDS, while his life evolution can be tracked through subtle hints of his self portrait photography. The one above was made in If you are interested in Robert Mapplethorpe books just click here.
Featured is one of his black male nude torsos, done six years prior to his exhibition Black Males and the subsequent edition called The Black Book. This torso epitomizes all the primary traits of his style — clear, unburdened composition, sculptural quality of human body in focus, smooth, shiny texture.
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Black Book First published inThe Black Book presents 96 formally stringent and highly erotic nudes, all of them photographs of black men, either as full figures, or staged as details, as fragments of their bodies.
Fascinated with her strong and classically beautiful body, Mapplethorpe made more nudes of Lisa Lyon, the upper depicting all the muscular strength she possesses, while hinting the kink in black straps wrapped around her.
Strong contrasts and timelessness ooze from these slightly erotic images. Juxtaposing black and white perfect male body to one another, the artist here introduces linearity into the piece held together by strong black and white contrasts.