Robert Mapplethorpe

Pictures / Self Portrait

About this artwork

Mapplethorpe photographs his hand here, dressed in clothing associated with punk culture and leather fetishism. Mapplethorpe arrived in New York in the mid 1970s amidst the emergence of punk and gay culture and subsequently explored a variety of homoerotic and countercultural themes throughout his career, creating notoriety and contentious debate. This is one of a large number of self portraits the artist created in staged dress for dramatic effect, or to reveal conflicting or controversial aspects of his own personality. This image works in contrast with another photograph of his hand in exactly the same action and position but dressed for daytime office work, as opposed to the night time club culture implied here.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Pictures / Self Portrait
  • date created:
    1977
  • materials:
    Photograph, gelatin silver print on paper
  • measurements:
    35.10 x 34.70 cm (framed: 68.40 x 66.20 x 3.10 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Artist Rooms Foundation 2014
  • accession number:
    AL00359
  • gallery:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe