Joseph J. Hanssen
Robert Mapplethorpe was never afraid of revealing his true self and personal sexuality to the world. He shocked many people with his "in your face" attitude. He wanted the world to realize that we're all sexual beings who shouldn't be ashamed of our bodies or sexual desires. Life is for living, and he lived it to the fullest. There have been many books published about Mapplethorpe, but this volume is a very personal collection of his black and white Polaroid photographs he took of himself in the early 1970's. They reveal the many moods of Mapplethorpe, whether he was being erotic, sexy, dark & sinister, or very innocent. It's a valuable collection of photos that verge on the edge of excitement. There are about 65 black & white self-portraits here. Some are not as clear as others due to the technology of the period.
There is a very informative essay by Richard Marshall which is an invaluable addition to this book. A nicely produced book by Arena Editions, with quality paper, printing, and design. Robert Mapplethorpe was a man who's personal beauty and good looks, only enhanced his talented life as one of our most famous photographers. A handsome addition for anyone's collection.
I really enjoyed this presentation of Mapplethorp's work. His work is only for true hard core artistic personalities who can appreciate beauty in unorthodox forms. This book is on my public shelf for visitors who are so inclined.