Robert Mapplethorpe

Alan Lynes

1979

Medium
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Dimensions
Support: 341 x 341 mm
frame: 612 x 588 x 38 mm
Acquisition
ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Reference
AR00197

Online caption

Alan Lynes was a dancer with the Peter Reed Ballet Company. The rope may be part of the bondage practices of sado-masochistic sex, but here, in connection with the dancing pose and plaited hair, the main reference point is to the dancing satyr (half-man, half-animal) of ancient Greek mythology, such as one can see on classical vases. This relates to Mapplethorpe’s interest in classical art, which influenced many of his nudes. He was also an avid collector of vases. Formally, the image is an exercise in curves and arabesques.