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.
Robert Mapplethorpe is very well know of making impressive portraits, and is skilled in the arts of the flower and black and white photography. Ill be showing you a collection of his flower art. He especially likes orchids and calla lilies. He brings the best out of them, beautiful colors, contrast, composition and lighting. All that is taken into consideration to make something really impressive.
You can learn a lot just by looking at each of his photos and analyzing them. The backgrounds are hand painted in my opinion. The flower seems to be positioned either next to the window if he uses natural light or he uses a window between the flower and his studio lights to make those nice shadows. The straight lines of those shadows that make diagonals work really good on our eyes. A really nice feeling not having a seamless background.
Robert Mapplethorpe also uses a really nice format that fits the flowers well, its almost a square(1 by 1), but that almost makes a really big difference. He also puts all those elements in a way that he creates balance. Every element works really well with other elements of the whole flower art photography.
Mapplethorpe was born and grew up as a Roman Catholic of English and Irish heritage 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.
Mapplethorpe took his first photographs soon thereafter using a Polaroid camera. 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. He kept the Bond Street loft as his darkroom.
Mapplethorpe died on the morning of March 9, 1989, in a Boston, Massachusetts hospital from complications arising from AIDS; he was 42 years old. His ashes were buried in Queens, New York, in his mother’s grave, marked ‘Maxey’.
Nearly a year before his death, the ailing Mapplethorpe helped found the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc. His vision for the Foundation was that it would be “the appropriate vehicle to protect his work, to advance his creative vision, and to promote the causes he cared about”.
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