Online caption

Mapplethorpe rarely photographed nature outside in the raw and wild. The sea, with its changeable and unpredictable moods, would seem to be an unlikely subject for him, but the way that he tackles it gives it order and regularity - elements that are central to Mapplethorpe’s aesthetic. He photographs it head on, so that the horizon, the waves and shoreline line up in horizontal bands. Note also how he gives the sky and the shore equal spaces in the composition.