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.