Robert Mapplethorpe's black-and-white Polaroid photographs of the 1970s are brought together in this book by author Sylvia Wolf. Critically praised for his classically composed photographs and revealing themes that would inspire him throughout his career, this book brings together almost 200 images from The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation's archive and private collections, to provide a critical view of Mapplethorpe's formative years as an artist.
Included is a selection of his color Polaroids and objects in his early "instant" photographs. Some images convey a disarming tenderness and vulnerability, while others have a toughness and immediacy that would give way in later years to more classical form. Wolf traces the development of Mapplethorpe's use of instant photography from 1970 to 1975, when the artist worked mainly in this medium. The images include self-portraits, figure studies, still lifes, portraits of lovers and friends such as Patti Smith, Sam Wagstaff, and Marianne Faithfull, and observations of everyday objects. Marked by a spontaneity and creative curiosity, these images offer an illuminating contrast to the formal perfection of the work for which Mapplethorpe is best known, allowing a more personal glimpse of his artistry.
- 256 pages, 9 x 7 inches
- 182 b&w illustrations
- Reprinted 2013