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Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) was an American photographer, known for his large-scale, highly stylized black and white portraits, photos of flowers and naked men. The frank, homosexual eroticism of some of the work of his middle period triggered a more general controversy about the public funding of artworks.

Mapplethorpe was born and grew up as a Roman Catholic of English and Irish heritage in Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Floral Park, New York, a neighborhood of Long Island. He received a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he majored in graphic arts.

In the mid-1970s, he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began taking photographs of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, including artists, composers, and socialites. In the 1980s he refined his aesthetic, photographing statuesque male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and highly formal portraits of artists and celebrities. Mapplethorpe's first studio was at 24 Bond Street in Manhattan. In the 1980s Sam Wagstaff gave him $500,000 to buy the top-floor loft at 35 West 23rd Street, where he lived and had his shooting space.

Mapplethorpe died on the morning of March 9, 1989, in a Boston, Massachusetts hospital from complications arising from AIDS; he was 42 years old.

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  • Ships From: Switzerland
  • Shipping Dimensions: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.32 cm.)
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