Robert Mapplethorpe
Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter 1979

Artwork details

Robert Mapplethorpe 1946–1989
Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter
Date 1979
Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
Dimensions Support: 341 x 341 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
Not on display

Online caption

Humour is not something that we tend to associate with Mapplethorpe’s work, but this double portrait certainly has it. Unusually, Mapplethorpe has chosen to photograph these two men not in a neutral setting but in a cluttered environment of questionable taste. The implication is that this is where the men live. They are dressed in full black leather gear and the submissive seated partner is chained up and shackled to the bearded standing figure. The sado-masochistic ritual that is being enacted contrasts totally with the homey living room. The only pointer to darker currents is the table to the right made of deer antlers.

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