Sunday, November 21, 2010

New York is the Thing...

I spent the Summer of 1989 in Washington D.C. where, by chance, Robert Mapplethorpe's controversial photographic retrospective had been exiled from Cincinnati to a rapturous welcome in the Capitol. I attended the opening night completely thrilled to be there at a boundary-breaking show that had a frisson and a funereal air. Mapplethorpe had just recently died of AIDS.
Over the years since I've come to see his artwork in from many perspectives and appreciate the time and place he emerged from and help refine. Understanding the work between him and Patti Smith has particularly marked my season lately. It is one of the great muse and artist stories of its time, even as the roles were in constant rotation; more like an ouroboros forever devouring itself in eternal return.

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