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A New Look At Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe’s stunning and sexually-charged images started critics and conservatives. While some said his sexuality tainted his work, Sylvia Wolf claims the late artist’s identity as a gay man and as a photographer go hand-in-hand:

Within his first year of taking pictures, Mapplethorpe also began to explore his sexual attraction to men, trying to determine whether he was gay, straight or bisexual, and the Polaroid camera became an accomplice and an aid. As he embraced homosexuality, he made dozens of photographs of handsome young men gazing at the camera with sultry come-hither looks or staring past the photographer in states of suspended consciousness. For his subjects, being photographed by Mapplethorpe was often an erotic experience. For Robert, taking pictures was a means of seduction and a catalyst for sex.

May be should be taking more shots, huh?

[Image Source]

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  • Rt. Rev. Dr. RES

    Robert Mapplethorpe had a tortured coming out process. His anger at all the proponents of homophobia, especially the Christian Church, found expression with urine and a crucifix. His death was a sad ending to such a tortured life.

    Yet, I always find hate expressed in thought, word or deed is the true vulgarity. Using Christ to promote Christofacism is obscene. I find the homophobia of today, and especially the decades of his fame, was crying out for expression.

    Christofascist theology is Pharisitical and not exemplary of the Christ whom we serve in our family. The bodily function it evokes in me is not urination but vomitus.

  • Dave

    Robert Mapplethorpe never did the infamous “piss Christ” photograph that the above person is writing about.

    Robert Mapplethorpe was bisexual and not a gay man as he had both sexual and romantic attractions to both men and women. If he were gay he would only have had sexual attraction to men only which was not the case.

  • Mat

    I agree to erase RM’s bisexuality is ridiculous. The 1970’s gay liberation looked down upon bisexuals even more so than gay culture does today. There are many social factors at work here. I have known many bisexuals who preferred men or exclusively had sex with men after a while, or who publically identify as “gay” and yet privately identify as “bisexual” and have bisexual behavior. For me personally I am bisexual and have preferred women and my behavior reflects that preference and yet my homosexuality has painfully erased my het life and my het life erases my homo depending at where I am in my life.

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