Robert Mapplethorpe: Flowers

Artist(s): Robert Mapplethorpe
Author(s): Patti Smith
Format: hardback
Edition: Second Printing
Year published: 1990
Publisher: Bulfinch
Publisher Location: USA


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Beautifully illustrated hardback in original dust-jacket.  Green cloth boards with black titling.  Second printing.  Text by Patti Smith.  49 illustrations in glorious colour.  No ex-library stamps, underlining or annotations.  Light shelf-wear to dust-jacket edges, otherwise V.G.  Among the motifs considered to be typically Mapplethorpe–i.e. nudes, portraits, black men, and the New York gay scene–flowers had a firmly-established (albeit less spectacular) position. The first date from the seventies; the last were taken shortly before his death. Design was also dominant here; the perfect, emphatically artificial arrangement. And in the final analysis, he was also concerned with the same subject: stylizing sexuality into a still life. Under Mapplethorpe’s gaze, flowers lose their mellifluous-ness and innocent symbolism. They suddenly reveal a perfidious, at times decadent, eloquence. Once again one encounters two things in their utmost perfection: erotic drama and absolute clarity of composition–the celestial poles and quintessence of Mapplethorpe’s work. His long-time partner, singer-songwriter Patti Smith, composed a farewell poem for this volume.


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