Robert Mapplethorpe

Frogs

1984

Artist
Robert Mapplethorpe 1946–1989
Medium
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Dimensions
Support: 374 x 373 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
AR00221

Not on display

Online caption

Mapplethorpe rarely photographed nature in the ‘wild’. Here, like his flower photographs, he has removed the subject from its natural environment. Although considering frogs’ unpredictability, especially in comparison to flowers, Mapplethorpe has managed to capture eight within a perfectly balanced composition. With all points of reference removed, the plate has become a white circle, suspended on a black background. The frogs appear to have gathered contently across the surface of the plate, oblivious to the religious connotations of sacrifice and the humourous allusion to the well-known French delicacy of frogs’ legs.

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