Robert Mapplethorpe
Self Portrait 1981, printed 1992

Artwork details

Robert Mapplethorpe 1946–1989
Self Portrait
Date 1981, printed 1992
Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
Dimensions Support: 341 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

As in his portrait of Nick Marden, Mapplethorpe photographs himself from behind, but here the emphasis is on abstract design. The “V”-shape of the wall-mounted frame (actually one of Mapplethorpe’s own sculptures) echoes the diagonals of his heavily coiffed hair and intersects the inverted “V”-shape of the white piping on his leather jacket. The effect is very art deco. Surface style takes precedence over character depiction or psychological insight.

About this artwork