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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
Around 1979 Mapplethorpe began to photograph black men. As his biographer, Patricia Morrisroe, wrote, he found that “he could extract a greater richness from the colour of their skin”, in particular the tonal range between the highlights and the shadows was more dramatic. In this close-up of Bob Love, Mapplethorpe exploits the contrast between the highlights on his shoulder and face and the inky darkness of his neck and the back and top of his head.