Robert Mapplethorpe
Self Portrait 1980

Artwork details

Robert Mapplethorpe 1946–1989
Self Portrait
Date 1980
Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
Dimensions Support: 340 x 341 mm
frame: 686 x 659 x 28 mm
Acquisition 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
Not on display

Online caption

Mapplethorpe portrays himself as the archetypal bad boy, with black leather jacket, dark shirt, cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth, the coolly appraising gaze and the carefully coiffed 1950s-style hair. Mapplethorpe was keen to promote this image of himself as cool and impervious to emotion. The composition helps to underscore this. The pose is wholly frontal and composed so that his mouth lies at the very centre of the photograph.

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