Online caption

This portrait of the American singer-songwriter, Patti Smith, was taken in the same year that her first album, ‘Horses’, appeared. Indeed, this photograph was taken during the same session in which the album’s cover image was shot. Mapplethorpe and Smith had lived together in the late 1960s and remained close friends after they parted. In this photograph Mapplethorpe captures Smith’s unconventional and androgynous side. The pose looks very informal, but Mapplethorpe has taken care to align the verticals of the tie and the side of Smith’s face and has set up a series of diagonals with her arms and the other half of the tie.