|born on||4 November 1946 at 05:45 (= 05:45 AM )|
|Place||New York, New York, 40n43, 74w0|
|Timezone||EST h5w (is standard time)|
|Astrology data||11°25' 07°41 Asc. 01°51'|
American contemporary photographer whose prints began at a price of $5,000 while sittings started at $10,000. A retrospective of his photos was exhibited at the Whitney Museum in August 1988. Having studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn from 1963-1970, he began his career as an independent film maker and artist. He first gained widespread notice in the late '70s for elegantly composed, and beautifully printed, black-and-white photos of male figures, many of which were explicitly homosexual. His female nude pictures were considered equally stylish.
Mapplethorpe was born into a Catholic family in Queens, from whom he escaped as soon as possible, studying art at Pratt. While there, he met poet and rock singer Patti Smith who became a true companion and lover for some time. When she moved on, he began his voyage into a gay identity that would be the cornerstone of his art and his life. Robert and Patti were the luminaries of a sparkling, demonic downtown art world based at the Chelsea and at Max's Kansas City, the club of all clubs. Mapplethorpe worked in a variety of media but eventually settle on photography, becoming famous for his work in three modes: exquisite neoclassical photos of flowers, which earned money; portraits of the rich and famous and powerful people whose company he relished, which earned social acknowledgement; and unabashed documents of the gay S&M scene, which earned his reputation as a profound artist.
Despite his success with his later work, which was more commercialized and prettied up, his early work was strong and ugly; many of his earlier pictures featured self abuse, enemas, and torture. He led a self-centered existence focused on perverse sex, the high life, fame and acclaim. "Vicious racist" and "coprophiliac" were also words used to describe him. He sensationalized himself and sought ridiculous hype while alive and has been hyped to death since he died.
Sam Wagstaff, a well-known wealthy art curator and collector, was his companion in the '70s and '80s until his death of AIDS in January 1987. Mapplethorpe was also obsessed with black men and had a series of more or less disastrous relationships with his ideal "primitive." He was quoted as saying, "When I have sex with someone I forget who I am. For a minute I even forget I'm human. It's the same thing when I'm behind a camera. I forget I exist." Voracious in his hungers, he remarked, "Happiness? It's not there for me."
Mapplethorpe was HIV positive for a year before he died of AIDS on 3/09/1989, New York City, NY.
- lover relationship with Smith, Patti (born 30 December 1946)
- lover relationship with Wagstaff, Sam (born 4 November 1921)
- Health : Acute illness 1988 (AIDS)
Gar Osten quotes him, AFA DX 6/1989
Biography: Patricia Morrisroe, "Mapplethorpe, A Biography," Random House.
- Traits : Personality : Bigot (Racist)
- Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Aids
- Family : Relationship : Cohabitation more than 3 yrs (Lived with Patti Smith in youth)
- Family : Relationship : Mate - Noted (Sam Wagstaff)
- Family : Relationship : Mate - Same sex (Sam Wagstaff)
- Family : Parenting : Kids none
- Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
- Passions : Sexuality : Bi-Sexual
- Passions : Sexuality : Dominant/ Submissive (Gay S&M scene)
- Passions : Sexuality : Extremes in quantity
- Passions : Sexuality : Sexual perversions (Coprophelia)
- Passions : Sexuality : Sodomy
- Vocation : Art : Photography (Exhibited, pro)
- Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession