Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Weds 19th Jan: Robert Mapplethorpe: Night Work: Curated by Scissor Sisters with...

On a much appreciated recommendation from Tom Ryling, I read the book "Just Kids" by Patti Smith this summer which latterly took me on a little pilgrimage to The Chelsea Hotel. Its a story that you can't put down, learning all the intimate details of how Patti met Robert and the fate that unfolded before them. Now I know an introduction to their world and work I'm keen to find out more and was so excited to discover there is a chance to see some of Robert's work in London. Thanks to an exhibition curated by The Scissor Sisters at Alison Jacques gallery in town, there are two spaces devoted to both Mapplethorpe originals and contemporary artists work influenced by his legacy. Inbetween seven shots chosen by the band to use for their latest album "Night Work" are rare Polaroids and sculptures alongside pieces from the likes of Banks Violette and Matthew Barney. This photograph from 1980 of a ballet dancer's behind belongs to one of Robert's models - Peter Reed. The image became the cover of The Scissor Sisters album and Ive found a nice quote from Scott Hoffman that helps explain how it came about...........

"It was a decision that Jake made a little while before we chose the image he wanted. That one just brought it all together for him. Robert Mapplethorpe is the perfect example and icon for this time of abandon. He’s also someone who documented it in this time before it changed drastically for the gay community and the New York downtown arts community. The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation was extremely excited about the idea of keeping his legacy alive in some way. They have never done anything before that compares to this campaign and they made it extremely easy for us to use the images. We realised it is important for them to stay as relevant and current as it is for us to associate ourselves with a hugely important artist.”
Ive taken this from an interview with the band in DNA Magazine

The exhibition is on until the 19th March so I highly recommend dropping in to both address on Berners Street to see all of the works on show............. brilliant!

To read more on The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation see:

(The top image here is one of my favourite portraits of Robert that Ive taken from my book "Bande A Part" which shows him wearing his own jewellery.............. I would love to know where some of these necklaces have ended up............ if you read Just Kids Patti writes about how Robert made accessories before discovering photography)

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