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Mapplethorpe: Photographs [Hardcover]

Robert Mapplethorpe , Arthur C. Danto
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Nov 1992
Encompassing all aspects of Robert Mapplethorpe's photographic career, this book begins with his earliest unpublished Polaroid pictures, and continues with portraits of friends through to his more well-known works. By the photographer of "Lady, Lisa Lyon", "Robert Mapplethorpe" and "Some Women".

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (5 Nov 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022403605X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224036054
  • Product Dimensions: 32.6 x 30.6 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,120,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece! 18 Feb 2012
By Jessica
Those who are buying this book most likely know the work of the author and either want to have a research copy of Mapplethorpe's work handy, or, like me, gain more depth on understanding his work. Either way, this is a MUST HAVE book for anyone into author photography. It served me well as a photography student, as a professional photographer, and should continue to serve me well as a source of inspiration and great reference material in architecture school.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Angus Jenkinson TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Mapplethorpe is arguably the most extraordinary artist working in photography during the 20th century, producing extraordinarily clear, classically composed and conceived sensuous images that are often raw and shocking for the average viewer (specifically his homosexual and bondage images, which generated huge controversy and legal cases when there was an attempt to exhibit them in art museums), yet always beautifully lit, composed and conceived. He makes anything lovely. His portraits (check out Some Women), flower photos and nudes share therefore in an attempt to create perfection in black-and-white. You could put it like this: he attempted to make both a flower and a body, a face and a close-up of genitalia, look like heaven on earth. No one else gets close to achieving this. Remember, for him it was all beautiful.
Well worth the price, as long as you're comfortable with much of the explicit subject matter -- male nudity, sometimes extreme.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the expense but a bit disappointing 14 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
While this handsome, exceptionally made collection of Mapplethorpe photography is certainly worth its cost, the editors have done a disservice to the artist by eliminating the framing effects Mapplethorpe created to off-set his own work, and thus sometimes robbing individual images of their ultimately intended impact. Worse still, these particular reproductions generally eliminate the sepia, blue-ish, or silvery tones of the original works and consequently misrepresent the artist's intent. Those who are established admires of Mapplethorpe will be impressed by this book; those who have not previously seen his work, however, will probably wonder what all the artistic fuss was about.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more varied collection of photographs you will never see 30 July 1998
By boudinot@yahoo.com - Published on Amazon.com
Ranging from graphic depictions of gay sex to portraits of little girls and flowers, Robert Mapplethorpe was all over the artistic map. This collection of his work is magnificent in its scope, frequently shocking, and ultimately very beautiful. The more extreme photographs have a tenderness to them, and the seemingly harmless photos generate an edginess that's hard to shake. Simultaneously devoted to a strict sense of formalism and composition and to forging a new iconography of homosexuality, it's easy to see why Mapplethorpe provoked so much controversy in his time. The many portraits of celebrities are perhaps the least interesting photos in the book, but add a certain classiness to the proceedings. A must-have for any fan of transgressive or technically accomplished photography.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good collection showing a range of photo types. 22 Oct 2001
By ch0pper - Published on Amazon.com
This book is LARGE! Very large. It is approximately 12" square, like a vinyl LP record, and comes in a tough card outer sleeve or box, thus keeping the actual book itself free from damage. I don't know exactly how much it weighs, but I suspect that it must be 3-4 Kg, so if you order it warn your postman! The images are all B&W.
It is also large in terms of content, there being some 600-odd images presented. There is an intoxicating range of photographs spreading over many years of Mapplethorpe's work and many genres. I have always found his flower portraits the most inspiring and they are here in plenty although regrettably none in colour. Obviously there also the formal portraits, the pictures of large male genitalia, pictures of Patti Smith (who is she, anyway?), a large number of self portraits, and many others.
This is NOT a book of sex images although there are few that are 'close to the mark', rather a collection of more of Mapplethorpe's more artistic ventures. Of all, I was much struck by the simple (polaroid) image of a young man on page 25, simple called "Untitled, 1974".
There is a superb essay by Arthur C. Danto explaining much of the controversy surrounding this photographer, along with a very full catalogue of Mapplethorpe's work, his books, exhibitions, and a bibliography of those who have written about or included his works.
Very good value for money if you are a fan.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a well-rounded group 3 Oct 2001
By "polychroma28" - Published on Amazon.com
Admitting that I've never seen any of Mapplethorpe's work up close and personal I'll none the less say that the prints are beautiful. The huge format gives the photos plenty of room to breathe, as is sometimes a problem in art books. I spent a good while seeking a collection that included all of his favorite subject matter, both the pretty and the disturbing, and this one didn't disappoint. If you are too weak of stomach for some of the admittedly harsh erotic stuff (which includes mostly that of the "homo-" variety) then buy a collection of his flowers and women, but all of his work makes much more sense in context.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Black and White Photographer Mapplethorpe 17 Mar 1999
By Nick P. - Published on Amazon.com
Im a photography student, and one of our assingments was to bring a photographers book to class every week and discuss our favorite photo. I picked Robert Mapplethorpe because of his extreme latitude of subjects. He doesnt stick to one type of subject, one page will be a self portrait, the next a flower, and the next a poloroid of a boat. If you like photography even just a little, buy this book.
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