Online caption

This is one of many photographs in which Mapplethorpe focuses on a part of the body. The surrealist artist Man Ray had taken similar photographs of a torso, but had given greater emphasis to the face-like appearance of the body with nipples as eyes and navel as mouth. Mapplethorpe’s photograph is much more a study of muscular form. With the draped fabric around his waist, similarities can also be drawn with classical sculpture.