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From Publishers Weekly
The late photographer-provocateur, who died from AIDS-related illness in 1989, chose Morrisroe, a frequent contributor to New York magazine, as his biographer. The result is a deeply sympathetic portrait of one of the most controversial artists of the 20th century. His work offsets with luminous elegance and compositional rigor its sometimes shocking content: not only absurdly lush blossoms and haughty socialites but also male nudes and explicit sadomasochistic scenes that reflected his own obsessive forays into the Manhattan underworld. The book explores his rise in the vital art world of 1970s Manhattan as well as his bond with rocker Patti Smith, whom Dali described as "a Gothic crow"; his sometimes loving, sometimes mutually exploitative relationship with his lover and patron, Sam Wagstaff; and the moving coincidence of his greatest critical successes occurring with the insidious and slow depredations of his illness. Although one sometimes longs for the nuanced appreciation of his work that an art historian would have offered, Morrisroe admirably balances frankness with sympathy in this memorable book. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC and QPB selections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-89) gained his greatest fame when a retrospective of his works led to obscenity charges against Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center. But even while he defied the art world with graphic photographs revealing his deepest sexual fantasies, Mapplethorpe was acclaimed for his celebrity portraits and flower images. Six months before his death from AIDS, the highly controversial photographer selected Morrisroe, a feature writer for New York and the New York Times, among... read more
With Robert Mapplethorpe's full endorsement and encouragement, Morrisroe interviewed more than 300 friends, lovers, family members and critics to form this definitive biography of America's most censored and celebrated photographer. 32 pages of photos.