Robert Mapplethorpe


gelatin silver print
20 x 16 inches
edition 5 of 10

One of the most iconic photographers to emerge in the 1980s, Robert Mapplethorpe injected a totally contemporary brand of sensuality into the field of photography. Though he gained much attention for his images featuring nude, often homoerotic, imagery (most notably the Senator Jessie Helms-inspired political uproar surrounding his exhibition, The Perfect Moment), Mapplethorpe’s work also included many of art history’s most traditional genres—floral still life, portrait, self-portrait, and scenes from the natural world. In Horses #5, Mapplethorpe’s characteristic appreciation for light and shadow, precise composition, and accentuated contour are seen in a smaller brown horse beautifully framed by, and even nestled in, a larger white horse that mirrors its pose. During his lifetime, Mapplethorpe participated in Documenta 6 in 1977, and the Whitney Museum of American Art held his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, a year before his death. In 2016, exhibitions of his work were held simultaneously at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Getty Museum.