Overview

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ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE (1946-1989)
ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE (1946-1989)

Self Portrait with Whip, 1978

Details
ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE (1946-1989)
Self Portrait with Whip, 1978
unique gelatin silver print
signed, dated and inscribed 'To Holly & Horace' in colored pencil (in the margin)
14 x 14in. (35.5 x 35.5cm.); 21½ x 19½in. (54.5 x 49.3cm.) overall; in artist's original frame construction
Provenance
Holly Solomon, New York
Literature
Marshall, Robert Mapplethorpe, Whitney Museum of American Art Little Brown and Co., 1988, p. 75; Mapplethorpe, Random House, 1992, p. 47; Danto, Playing with the Edge, Universityof California Press, 1996, p. 58; Pictures. Robert Mapplethorpe, Arena Editions, 1999, n.p.

Lot Essay

This print of one of Robert Mapplethorpe's most powerful, striking and reproduced self-portraits, was given to Holly Solomon, Mapplethorpe's dealer in 1978, as a birthday present. She had recently mounted Mapplethorpe's first solo exhibition, which was comprised of gelatin silver prints that were fit into custom mats, stretched with linen or silk, and then into a custom frame. These unique objects comprise a significant point of departure for Mapplethorpe early in his career, and it was this format to which he would return at the very end of his life, creating highly complex unique photographic constructions. The present work represents an intimate glimpse into the complex relationship between an artist and his dealer, woven by the vibrant thread of New York City's cultural demi-monde in the mid-1970s.

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