Online caption

Mapplethorpe loved the adrenalin rush of danger and was attracted to the trappings, if not the actuality, of violence. He photographed himself with a knife, a rifle and a whip. Here he captures the moment after a shot has been fired from a revolver, so that the blast particles showing the trajectory of the bullet are clearly visible. Typically for Mapplethorpe he isolates the hand, gun and blast against a dark background and lines everything up in a diagonal that cuts the image into two halves.