Online caption

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.