Robert Mapplethorpe

Cock and Devil

1982, printed 1990

Sorry, no image available

Artist
Robert Mapplethorpe 1946–1989
Medium
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Dimensions
Support: 371 x 472 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
AR00200

Not on display

Online caption

This humorous image plays around with the Christian (and more specifically Catholic) notion of sin and the attitude towards the libido that held sway in ancient Greece and Rome. In the ancient world, satyrs (half-men, half-goats) were Dionysus’s (Bacchus’s) attendants and, as such, were given over to lechery and drink. This was seen as an essential part of life, the dionysian reality behind the apollonian mask. However, with Christianity, the satyr was turned into the Devil - the representative of all that was evil, including lust. In this photograph the satyr/Devil has bound the penis (symbol of male sexuality) and brought it under his control.

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