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Thread: Mapplethorpe

  1. #41
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Speaking in general and not of Mapplethorpe in particular, the depiction of the male form has always been judged by a different standard. Take two photographs with the model in the same pose. The first shows a female nude and the second a male nude. The first may be judged as art while the second is deemed erotic, perhaps even worse homo-erotic, whatever that means. Unfortunately, people see what they have been conditioned to see. Is the Picasso painting "Boy Leading a Horse" art or is it pornography? Would a similar photograph by von Gloeden be art or pornography? What if the subject were female?
    There are plenty of male nudes in art that are not erotic... and you're certainly pre-imposing a value judgment on the nude content even before you see it. Why is "Homo-erotic" (as you put it) WORSE than just erotic? By stating it that way, you've already condemned eroticism in general, and homoeroticism in particular. Might I remind you that without eroticism, you would not be on this planet today.

    Picasso's boy leading a horse is certainly not erotic in intent - it's about comparing the two physical forms. But you could make an argument that A: it certainly has erotic side-effects, and that B: more likely, it's a big old dirty joke. Naked boy=naked horse, and we all know what horses are a stand-in for vis-a-vis male anatomy and the male ego. Picasso was a famously perverted, dirty old man, and making such a joke would be well within his mindset to do. If you doubt me, go to the Picasso museum in Barcelona some time and take a look at the pornographic cartoons he did that are on display there.

    Boy Leading a Horse is NOT pornographic because it is not depicting a sex act nor anything intending to provoke a sexual response as its primary effect. If Von Gloeden made a similar photograph, I would argue that it was no more pornographic than Boy Leading a Horse because it was in fact similar to the painting. If the boy had an erection, then you could make an argument it was porn.

  2. #42
    Erik Petersson's Avatar
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    There is currently a large Mapplethorp show in Stockholm, at Fotografiska Museet. Both pictures with flowers, and the nudes discussed above are in the show. Well worth a visit if your'e in town.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomalophicon View Post
    Is it uncool to view Patti Smith as boring?
    Yes.

  4. #44
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I don't know if Maplethorpe's pictures are "porn".or "uncool", but they certainly are a lot of cock
    Ben

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I don't know if Maplethorpe's pictures are "porn".or "uncool", but they certainly are a lot of cock
    !

    Jeff

  6. #46

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    the

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    Art and eroticism are far from mutually exclusive, as you paint them here.

    You can simply look up homoerotic in the dictionary if you don't know what it means.
    I never said that art and eroticism were mutually exclusive. But to many people they are exclusive. That was my point. I enjoyed your pun using the word paint.

    I have a problem with the word homoerotic. It implies that the subject is erotic only to homosexuals. It seems to exclude that the subject might also be attractive to women. It is used as a perjorative in that it seeks to maginalize the subject.

    One last point. One of the first things writer's learn is to avoid using a twenty dollar word when a two bit word would work as well. The word "erotic" seems a better choice.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 08-14-2011 at 10:33 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #47
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    I'm not sure people have their radars plugged in on this question exactly. I don't think the original poster was referring to the tasteful male nudes. But more like the penis vivisection photos and stuff like that.

    My response would be - he did BOTH - art and porn/experimental/extreme stuff. Some of it is up for question for sure, as to it's validity as art. But he did a lot of stuff also purely for his own interest/amusement/whatever you want to call it - stuff that I don't think he ever really meant to be all that public...

  8. #48
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    I think maybe you're falling into a commonly held misconception - one that is no stranger to this place. That the quality of the work is a function of the amount of money spent on equipment. Mapplethorpe had a hell of an eye though. SURE his success was facilitated to a large extent - but who's success is NOT facilitated? Just HOW do you think legends are made? It takes a LOT of connections and mucho dinero etc... but at least he had some real talent. I doubt many people such as you mention could have come close...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maris View Post
    Exactly right! Robert Mapplethorpe gained millions of dollars courtesy of Sam Wagstaff to indulge any whim; photographic or otherwise. Given an unlimited budget, the best equipment, best studios, best models, set designers, lighting guys, darkroom services, publishers and publicists, plus guaranteed entry to the most prestigious galleries he could scarcely fail.

    Given those resources virtually anyone in APUG who had a life devouring obsession and the energy to match it would do better.

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