Online caption

This is a beautiful example of the way that Mapplethorpe would often photograph the human body, or parts of it, against a geometrical, abstract background. The white board is viewed at a 90 degree angle so that it appears only as surface, as a white rectangle. There is little sense of depth, so that the man’s hands and arm stand out in contrast. Mapplethorpe may have been inspired to do this and other close-ups of parts of the body by the photographs that Alfred Stieglitz took of Georgia O’Keeffe’s hands around 1918-20 or that Man Ray took of Meret Oppenheim’s inked arm and hand in 1933.