Robert Mapplethorpe

1946–1989

Robert Mapplethorpe, ‘Self Portrait’ 1988
Self Portrait 1988
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
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Biography

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.

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