Art is really really great… for Porn!

Guardian Unlimited Arts | Arts features | Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos:

If Mapplethorpe’s art were a statement, what would it say? That Catholic guilt begets powerful images? That black bodies photograph better than white ones? That the rich often end up looking half mad? That photos of heavy-duty consensual sadomasochistic sex may be alarming and not for faint hearts, but they are a lot more fun to look at than all those flowers he insisted on photographing?

There’s a new exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s work in Edinburgh that is raising some interesting questions about the artist’s choices and subject matter. Mapplethorpe is one of the iconographic photographers of the 80’s who shocked the world with his very confronting and suggestive images. He still wins the prize for most uncomfortable self portrait In my opinion..
Mapplethorpe fits one of the classic artistic stereotypes. He died young, created controversy, had a unique style and pushed boundaries. at times he put himself and his own image on the firing line to further his art. Was it worth it? well, he will live forever. I think he knew exactly what he was doing. he created an atmosphere, an image and made himself a star. Vilified or loved, his image (yes the one with the bullwhip) will be synonymous with the fine line between art and pornography.
I think there aren’t many pioneers of art these days, as our boundaries grow broader and we accept more than ever before there are less walls to break down, less ways to shock people. we are becoming desensitized. I think it is due to artists like Mapplethorpe that we have such a broad arena, but the pendulum swung one way and now is at the other end of more subtle works. I guess history will be the judge as to whether shock or subtle wins in the end.
Just a further note, I never understood why people got so shocked by Mapplethorpe’s works, Bosch painted scenes that were just as graphic and anally retentive (heh). The Garden of Earthly Delights shows many scenes of similar things (in both heaven and hell.. he had some interesting notions did Bosch). If you compare garden of earthly delights and Mapplethorpe’s famous self portrait you will notice a certain fixation. Mapplethorpe’s is larger but Bosch uses it more.. šŸ˜‰

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