Andy Warhol (1983)
About this artwork
Andy Warhol was one of the most influential artists of the late twentieth century. Indeed, Mapplethorpe had idolised him while he was studying at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in the late 1960s. However, by 1973 when they showed together at the Gotham Book Mart in New York, they were distrustful of each other. In 1983 they photographed each other. Mapplethorpe’s photographs of Warhol show him with his customary blank expression. In this particular work, Mapplethorpe has emphasised Warhol’s loneliness by pressing him up against a wall and leaving an empty space on the right. He rubs his hands together rather nervously.
- title: Andy Warhol
- accession number: AR00150
- artist: Robert MapplethorpeAmerican (1946 - 1989)
- depicted: Andy Warhol
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Photograph
- materials: Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
- date created: 1983
- measurements: 47.60 x 37.70 cm (framed: 50.80 x 40.60 cm)
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
- copyright: © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
The American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe became famous, not to say, notorious, in the 1970s and 1980s for his photographs of the male nude and sexually explicit, gay imagery. Although often considered controversial, Mapplethorpe tested the right to individual freedom of expression. These images were not meant to be titillating or obscene but beautiful in a traditionally classical way. His work, therefore, holds a significant place in the history of artistic struggle to depict the world as it is, with honesty and truth. His nudes, when considered alongside his portraits of children and flower photographs, show him to be overwhelmingly interested in the beauty and transience of life. Mapplethorpe, even when facing death from AIDS, affirmed the beauty of the here and now.