Online caption

Mapplethorpe took this iconic photograph of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson in the same year as the production of Glass’s landmark opera, ‘Einstein on the Beach,’ which Wilson directed. The similar poses that the two men have adopted, as well as the geometry of the composition, emphasise their close collaboration – as well as their differences. The walls behind them are not the same. The white wall behind Wilson stands a few inches in front of the coloured wall behind Glass. Whereas Glass is unkempt, quite scruffily dressed and holding his hands in a contorted fashion, Wilson is well-groomed and generally more self-composed.