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Mapplethorpe x 7 Hardcover – April 15, 2011
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Think of it as a pictorial companion to Smith’s National Book Award–winning memoir, Just Kids―a captivating tale chronicling the creative ascent of two kindred bohemian spirits. Or simply as an alternative means of interpreting the anarchic mood of the sartorial season. Either way, its arresting photographs of New York’s virtuosos of the seventies and eighties―among them, William Burroughs, Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol, and of course, Smith―resonate no less vehemently today, and offer a rare and intimate look at one of the city’s most unbridled artistic eras." ~Vogue
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Top Customer Reviews
exhibitions of Mapplethorpe's work in seven different cities, in a period of seven years.
The artists include Cindy Sherman, David Hockney, Vik Muniz, Catherine Opie, Sterling
Ruby, Hedi Slimane, and Robert Wilson.
Already unique in its concept and premise, this book ultimately stands out through its
interviews with each of the seven artists by Richard Flood. Through the open and in-
depth discussions, we get a sense of each critical eye of Mapplethorpe's peers. Each is
thorough and thoughtful in their approach, and as Richard Flood notes, "by fashioning
a portrait of Mapplethorpe, they have also created a fascinating portrait of themselves."
It is then echoed after each interview in the following images chosen for their individual
I'm still undecided as to whose collection I like best. There are times when I love David
Hockney's the most but then my mood changes and I love Hedi Slimane's take. I can
look through the book over and over, put it aside, then go back and find a new story again
and again. There are several books that showcase collections of Mapplethorpe's work but
none is as powerfully revealing as this.
This book is pronounced Mapplethorpe Times Seven.
Seven different artists that had some connection with Mapplethorpe. Seven artists that cared a great deal for his work. Seven artists with different eyes looking at the same body of work. Seven artists that chose completely different works. Seven artists that put together seven very different and spectacular exhibits of Mapplethorpe's work. Interestingly, not many photographs were duplicated between the different artists, save one; almost everybody used the 1984 photograph of Alice Neel with her eyes closed yawning.
Mapplethorpe X7 is another example of fine printing. The black and white and color photographs are reproduced nearly perfectly. The range of gray tone in the black and white is remarkable, they look like silver prints. Color photographs are used very sparingly by the artists, these are also reproduced beautifully. It is the stunning black and white that truly stands out in this book. TeNeues has again demonstrated that they know how to publish photographs. This is a standard sized book with beautiful red cloth binding. The paper is heavy weight and brilliant white. The photographs are presented in a more standard format than other books by this publisher.Read more ›
What is most intriguing about the photographs is that many of the seven selected the same pictures-- Mapplethorpe self-portraits appear again and again minus the much maligned shot of the artist with his butt and the inserted riding whip facing the camera-- and that many of the images appear in these exhibits for the first time I believe.
In the interviews the artists almost to a person mention how formal many of Mapplethorpe's photographs are. ( It is always obvious that he was an art major before he picked up a camera.) Robert Wilson points out that Mapplethorpe used the diagonal often in the composition of his images. When asked by Flood what photograph in her collection best epitomizes the photographer, Cindy Sherman selected Giorgio (p. 181). I hope she is wrong in her assessment. Certainly no one before Mapplethorpe photographed the male organ better or more beautifully than he. On the other hand, surely some of his portraits and flower shots will outlive his sex photographs. In his introduction, Flood discusses the scarcity of Mapplethorpe's S x M images. He opines that that may be in part because the "images were too historic, too linked to an epidemic." To David Hockey, Mapplethorpe is the last of the chemical photographers since digital cameras, whether we want them or not, have taken over photography. Mr.Read more ›
Even through the many aesthetically-appealing photographs and stories of 1970's-NYC-friendships,and you're involved with Mapplethorpe, his life, tribulations and alluring yet controversial masterpieces.
You'll see that Catherine Opie's take on Mapplethorpe's work. Her exhibit, "Pictures, Pictures" is more than striking; and one of my favorite parts of this book.
Juxtaposing what would be considered "normal" art to Mapplethorpe's more outrageous photos. In the interview, Opie draws parallels between Ansel Adams and the artist...
Like most, I wouldn't have made the connection. But this book explores both the light and the dark of a man whose lifestyle was either smooth or stormy, sexy or friendly, never non-extreme--a dichotomy not confined to his skill nor creations.
In the book:
A vibrant bouquet of flowers to welcomes me, and a few images later? I flip to dolorous, blackened images of daggers.
Even the history surrounding photography and art itself is remarkably presented within the pages of this book.
Would I suggest this book to friends? Heck, I'd recommend MX7 to a stranger on the street as well.