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Mapplethorpe: A Biography [Paperback]

Patricia Morrisroe
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

22 Mar 1997
The brilliant photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946--1989) was one of the most infamous figures of the contemporary art world. Patricia Morrisroe, drawing on the numerous interviews she conducted with him and those who know him, has written a remarkable biography that reveals a life even more daring than his art.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 516 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1st Da Capo Press Ed edition (22 Mar 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306807661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306807664
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Patricia Morrisroe has writen for many publications, including New York magazine, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, and the London Sunday Times Magazine. She lives in New York City.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Harry Mapplethorpe craved the ordinary the way others lust for the strange and exotic. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read for all Mapplethorpe Fans 26 Oct 2009
By Anon
Robert Mapplethorpe, one time Enfant Terrible of the photography world, is notorious for his sexually charged photos. He is also famed for his black and white studies of orchids, removing them from nature and making them appear almost like statues.
For fans of Mapplethorpe's life and work, Morrisroe's book will be prove to be a little difficult. Morrisroe adores smut and controversy and she does tend to dwell on the more unpleasant elements of her subjects life (for example, do we really need to know about Mapplethorpe's ongoing battle with digestive worms??). That said, it is a great read and gives a fascinating insight into this complex man whose life and art was taken away from us much too soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read for Mapplethorpe lovers 30 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My friend loved it who is a RM fan, it isn't great print quality but they didn't care as some interesting stories of RM in here they hadn't known before.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walking on the wild side 4 Feb 2001
This excellent biography shows us a man who explored every corner of what it means to be human, including the dark side. Morrisroe never glosses over Mapplethorpe's contradictory nature; his kindness, snobbery, bigotry and anti-semitism, gentleness and respect for others and self-serving manipulations are all presented without judgement. Mapplethorpe was a photographer very much out on the edge and who courted controversy throughout his career. The skill in Morrisroe's writing is that she never flinches from the sordid details, while at the same time giving us a compassionate portrait of someone many people considered a monster. What emerges from the book is a portrait of a rare artist whose life was possibly more interesting than his art, at least in the latter stages of his career. Fascinating!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening 27 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really helps you to get a feel for the period in which Mapplethorpe lived and the terrifying illness that swept across America and Europe initially, like a modern day plague.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CAPTIVATING! 9 May 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Although Robert Mapplethorpe's artistic creations are undeniably controversial, his life story, as told by Patricia Morrisroe, makes for absolutely fascinating reading. I had more than once come across references to Mapplethorpe's work in the various gay fictions I'd been reading; and being totally unfamiliar with him (except for vague name recognition), I decided to find out more about him. Interestingly enough, both towards the latter half of his life and in the months following his death there were many events related in the book that I could recall having heard about in the news, but didn't make the connection with Mapplethorpe until this book. I think my mouth was agape throughout most of the time spent reading it; even now, recalling the descriptions of some of his photos and the detailed recounting of his lifestyle, I just sit and shake my head in amazement and probably shock. Robert Mapplethorpe, at his mother's request, received the last rites before he died. Being raised Catholic, I know what that should mean; but quite frankly, if there is indeed a heaven and a hell, I'm not sure in which place Robert Mapplethorpe is currently residing. A very informative book, and very, very absorbing reading!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Riveting 2 Feb 2010
By Robin S. - Published on Amazon.com
Having just read Patti Smith's book on her life with Robert Mapplethorpe, I decided to re-visit Morrisroe's biography. I enjoyed it even more the second time around. It's honest without being sensational and she treats his life in a sensitive, non-judgmental way. Even though I already knew the ending, the book is so well-written that I couldn't put it down.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read. 8 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is excellent and very readable.I imagine there is not much left to say about Roberts life.The research is thorough but the resulting book is vivid ,full of life and not at all dull.Everybody in the N.Y. art scene seems to make an appearance-Patti Smith is obviously also a big and constant background presence in the tale.Even if you don't rate Roberts work this book will be well worth reading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing view into the mind of Mapplethorpe! 11 Mar 2013
By Chitown Booklover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. One of the best biographies of an artist I have ever read. Morrisroe has choreographed a wonderfully balanced dance between the artist and his art. This is also a wonderful account of gay culture in the 70s and 80s of the Village, as well as an honest look at the toll of AIDS on the artworld.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down 4 Jun 2013
By Tamara Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Of all the Mapplethorpe books out there, Morrisroe's well-researched and highly detailed biography is the one you want to pick up. She delves into everything and everyone with a connection to his life, aesthetics, and the various scenes of which he was a part. Completely fascinating.
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