Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy - Thomas

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Image of Thomas

Robert Mapplethorpe , (Nov 4, 1946–Mar 9, 1989)


20 in. x 24 in. (50.8 cm x 60.96 cm)

Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print
Credit Line: Gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc.
Accession Number: 1999.25.1


While Mapplethorpe’s work ranges from informal Polaroids, portraits of New York celebrities, to still lifes of flowers, his photographs of nude men made him the best known and most controversial gay artist of the 1980s. Many of his nudes are sexually explicit and, taken together, establish an iconography of gay life in New York immediately before, during, and after the AIDS crisis of the early 1980s. This complex series of photographs depicting one of Mapplethorpe’s favorite models both celebrates the male body and shows the artist’s interest in classicized compositional challenges.

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