This magnificent 200 page hardback is a one of a kind collection.
Comprising in-depth essays, intertwined with interviews by Germano Celant with Robert Mapplethorpe himself. Including some of his most controversial work is that of the underground BDSM scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s of New York. The homoeroticism of this work fueled a national debate over the public funding of controversial artwork.
A theoretical tale, which comprises an anthology of writings on Robert Mapplethorpe, is not the result of a project planned over time; it is, first and foremost, the fruit of an experience in life that is interwoven with familiarity and time spent with the artist; a visual and mental inquiry experienced first-hand. It is a personal document, an interpretation linking together participation, study and writing. It is the reflection of a dialogue that began in 1977 on the occasion of Robert Mapplethorpe’s solo show at the Holly Solomon gallery on West Broadway, New York, and continued for years until his death.
It corresponds to the story of a life that consists of the memories of evenings and all-nighters spent discussing photography, as well as to the time spent analyzing and getting to know the artist’s work. It is the unrepeatable and unique telling of a young scholar of contemporary art who had the chance, being unable to afford a hotel, to stay with such names as Joseph Kosuth, Art & Language, Christo, Coosje van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg, as well as in Robert Mapplethorpe’s studio on Bond street in Manhatten, and thus, during the night after countless smokes, to leaf through those folders containing thousands of proofs that had either been selected or discarded.