© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by Permission
Courtesy The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York and Alison Jacques Gallery, London
From September 11th to 5th October, an exhibition of the late Robert Mapplethorpe entitled ‘Fashion Show’ is set to be housed at the Alison Jacques Gallery showcasing many pieces of artwork and photography of his life’s work.
This exhibition also sees collaboration with model and artist David Crolan, Mapplethorpe’s boyfriend since 1970. Crolan, as well as being photographed in much of Mapplethorpe’s work, has also been photographed by the likes of David Bailey, Duffy and Bill King.
The main pretence of the exhibition will be photographs that were shot for the likes of Italian Vogue, French Vogue and LA Style in the mid-to-late 1980s, most of which have never been exhibited. Silver Gelatin and Polaroid portraits of famous and iconic figures in the fashion world will also be on display including Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint-Laurent and Grace Jones. The portraits give a good insight into their careers at that particular moment in time and shows just want an iconic photographer Mapplethorpe was in terms of popular culture and the fashion industry.
On the subject of his popularity, Croland said that, “We went out one night and both had on a number of his creations. The fashion gang was intrigued. Loulou and Maxime de la Falaise, Marisa and Berry Berenson, John McKendry and a number of others commissioned their first Mapplethorpe originals.”
Mapplethorpe is best known in the fashion industry for his distinct style where the model’s back was facing the camera allowing the clothing, fabrics and materials to be the real essence of the image. He also loved to use juxtaposition and somewhat ironic imagery such as having a male muscle man wearing fishnet stockings. He is most well-known for this with a full length image of him dressed in drag and fur being the main piece of work Mapplethorpe is known for.
This exhibition is set to showcase Robert Mapplethorpe’s glamorous life. Several decades on and quarter of a century after his death, these images seem as prominent as ever.
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