ARTIST ROOMS

Robert Mapplethorpe Cock and Devil 1982, printed 1990

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Cock and Devil
Date 1982, printed 1990
Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
Dimensions Support: 371 x 472 mm
Collection
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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