A renowned Fine Art Photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe’s portfolio spans across a variety of subjects: both male and female nudes, flowers, statues, portraits and self portraits. His work was often controversial, with strong homoerotic themes and an interest in the S&M community.
His piece, ‘Self Portrait 1975’ is one of my favourites. The composition is strange, and cheeky. It is unusual to have a photographic self-portrait where the subject’s face is not in the centre of the frame. Instead, Mapplethorpe decides to peek at the viewer from the top corner, and leisurely extend his arm out, drawing across the viewers eye. His smile and expression is relaxed and fun, and although I don’t know much about his personality, I feel like a lighthearted and fun person comes through. But isn’t that the point of a good self-portrait anyway?
Mapplethorpe was only a practising artist for less than twenty years before he sadly passed away from complications due to his HIV/AIDS in 1989. A foundation has been set up to protect and promote the kind of photograph work that he was passionate about. More information on it can be found here.