Robert Mapplethorpe - Photographs London Monday, November 17, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Video

    ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE 'Self-Portrait', 1983

    "We're never quite sure with Mapplethorpe if he's actually defending these devil-like tendencies or whether he's actually quite frightened of them himself." Lou Proud, Head of Photographs, London speaks about Robert Mapplethorpe's fierce 'Self-Portrait' from 1983 before it's offered at auction on 18 November.

  • Provenance

    Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
    Private Collection, Madrid

  • Literature

    Robert Mapplethorpe, Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2006, pl. 52
    M. Holborn, D. Levas, eds., Mapplethorpe, Kempen: teNeues, 2007, p. 127

  • Catalogue Essay

    "‘Magic’ was a frequent term in Mapplethorpe’s discourse, and we have no better word for stating what makes his photographs so remarkable."

    Arthur C. Danto

  • Artist Biography

    Robert Mapplethorpe

    American • 1946 - 1989

    After studying drawing, painting and sculpture at the Pratt Institute in the 1960s, Robert Mapplethorpe began experimenting with photography while living in the notorious Chelsea Hotel with Patti Smith. Beginning with Polaroids, he soon moved on to a Hasselblad medium-format camera, which he used to explore aspects of life often only seen behind closed doors.

    By the 1980s Mapplethorpe's focus was predominantly in the studio, shooting portraits, flowers and nudes. His depiction of the human form in formal compositions reflects his love of classical sculpture and his groundbreaking marriage of those aesthetics with often challenging subject matter. Mapplethorpe's style is present regardless of subject matter — from erotic nudes to self-portraits and flowers — as he ceaselessly strove for what he called "perfection of form."

    View More Works



Gelatin silver print.
38.6 x 38.6 cm (15 1/4 x 15 1/4 in.)
Signed, dated by Michael Ward Stout, Executor, titled, dated, numbered 9/10 in an unidentified hand, all in ink, Estate and Robert Mapplethorpe copyright credit reproduction limitation and signature stamps on the reverse of the flush-mount.

£30,000 - 40,000 

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs
+ 44 207 318 4018


London 18 November 2014