A new film about the life and work of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe opens next month. For those who are unfamiliar with Mapplethorpe, Wikipedia describes his work as “sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial subject-matter in the large-scale, highly stylized black and white medium of photography.” His most controversial work is that of the BDSM subculture in the late 1960s and early 1970s of New York City. The homoeroticism of this work fuelled a national debate over the public funding of controversial artwork.
The movie, Mapplethorpe, opens March 1 and depicts his life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea hotel, where he begins photographing its inhabitants and his new found circle of friends including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars, and members of the S&M underground. Exploring the intersection of his art, his sexuality and his struggle for mainstream recognition, the film offers a nuanced portrait of an artist at the height of his craft and his self-destructive impulses.
At this point, I don’t have details for where or when this film will show in Boston.