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life on the edge of cool

Robert Mapplethorpe

‘self portrait’ (1983) by robert mapplethorpe, on display at i8 gallery, reykjavik
all works © robert mapplethorpe foundation
used by permission of i8 gallery, reyk

robert mapplethorpe
i8 gallery, reykjavik, iceland
july 28, 2011 to september 10, 2011

i8 gallery in reykjavik is displaying an exhibition of works by photographer robert mapplethorpe. though he is known primarily
for his images, the new york native began his studies at brooklyn’s pratt institute experimenting with mixed-media collages,
influenced by artists such as joseph cornell and marcel duchamp. mapplethorpe acquired a polaroid camera in 1970 and began
producing photographs to incorporate as source material, though he quickly found satisfaction the medium in its own right.

He developed a body of work by shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film
stars, and members of the S&M underground. despite his diagnosis with AIDS in 1986, he accelerated his creative efforts and
accepted increasingly challenging commissions until his death in 1989.

Featuring mapplethorpe’s documentation throughout the ’80s, this exhibition highlights his preferred genres of stylized
compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and studio portraits of celebrities—shocking for their content
and notable for their technical and formal mastery. the show also demonstrates the artist’s range of formats, including color
20″ x 24″ polaroids, photogravures, platinum prints on paper and linen, cibachrome and dye transfer color prints.


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