Online caption

Mapplethorpe has posed his sitter carefully so that her head and projecting hairstyle are in profile, but the back of her coat with its spectacular three-dimensional birds is fully visible. Her exaggerated 1950s-style quiff only just bisects the white diagonal, which emerges from the centre point and slices across the top-left corner of the frame. This emphasises the hairstyle and balances the overall composition.