Robert Mapplethorpe

Self Portrait


Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Support: 271 x 575 mm
frame: 616 x 895 x 29 mm
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

Online caption

By training his camera on his eyes, and on his eyes only, Mapplethorpe has concentrated on those organs and on that faculty that determined his career. These eyes, sunken into his head and surrounded by lines, are the eyes of a sick man – Mapplethorpe was to die of an AIDS-related illness in a few months’ time –, but also the eyes of a brave and unflinching man, determined to outstare death.