Robert Mapplethorpe

Tattoo Artist’s Son


Not on display

Robert Mapplethorpe 1946–1989
Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
Support: 477 × 376 mm
frame: 744 × 620 × 37 mm
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland
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

Online caption

This portrait shows an unknown punk, introduced to us as just the ‘Tattoo Artist’s Son’. He looks straight out of the frame with one intense eye, the other covered by his long fringe, a contrast to his shaven head. He appears full of attitude, his mouth slightly open as if caught mid-sentence. Despite the sitter’s casual body language the composition is structured. The sitter is centralised against the background which is split in half vertically - one side light, the other dark, his fringe creating a panel of dark swept into the light.

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