Robert Michael Mapplethorpe (; November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) was an American photographer, known for his sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial subject-matter in the black and white medium of photography. His work featured an array of subjects, including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, self-portraits and still-life images of flowers. His most controversial work is that of the gay BDSM subculture in the late 1960s and early 1970s of New York City. This work fueled a national debate over the public funding of controversial artwork.
Artist as subject
Tate EtcPower and role play in Mapplethorpe’s double portrait
Look CloserFrom portraits of iconic figures in the art and music world to powerful and moving self-portraits