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Jewish Childhood - Paris, Robert Mapplethorpe, Grand Palais
Thursday, 02 October 2014 22:39

What a remarkable exhibit. Mapplethorpe hitting his highs and yes, there were many penises but what most struck me was a comment of his about his photographs of flowers. There was something to the effect that he appeared to like the photograph almost more than the original.

I understand that objects and people are locked down in time, they, as people, don't wrinkle or age, or fade. They are always the same. And perhaps, there is comfort in that.

Think about your favorite family photo and how much it means to you, each person there on the paper, caught at a particular time, at a particular place where they will never change. They will always be there for us, just as they were.

In the brochure, the epigraph "I am looking for perfection in form. I do that with portraits. I do that with cocks. I do it with flowers."

He appeared to be on an "obsessive quest for aesthetic perfection”. He is quoted as saying that he wanted to see his works, "first as art and second as photography”.

He said, "I completely immerse myself in that flower. I love my pictures of flowers more than I love real flowers”. I have to ask myself if that was true of people, as well.

He was raised Catholic and went to church every Sunday. He said that he felt that a church "has a certain magic, and mystery for a child. It still shows in how I arrange things".

Some of the people I recognize are Keith Harring, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Princess Dianne, Keith Cobain. His picture of author Edmund White is magnificent. His self-portraits and wonderful: "bad- boy duck tail with cigarette and leather jacket.

There are photographs of David Hockney and Henry Geldzahler, 1955. Phillip Glass and Robert Wilson, Isabella Rossellini.

He feels a strong sense of what we call place. "I'm trying to record a moment I'm living in and where I'm living, which happens to be in New York. I am trying to pick up on the madness and give it some order...These pictures could not have been done at any other time.

Mapplethorpe was born in Queens, New York, the third of six children. He died on March 9th, 1989 in Boston. He is buried at St. John's Cemetery in Queens, New York.  Click here: Robert Mapplethorpe - The obsession for beauty - YouTube

As always, thank you for visiting my Jewish Childhood Blog.