Robert Mapplethorpe

Self Portrait

About this artwork

Mapplethorpe felt a great affinity with the social rebellion of Surrealism and particularly admired the photographer Man Ray’s portrait of Marcel Duchamp in drag: Marcel Duchamp Dressed as Rrose Selavy, 1920-21. It introduced to Mapplethorpe the idea of portraiture as disguise and gender transformation, which he explores in this self portrait. Direct comparisons can be made between the two photographs in both subject matter and composition, whilst Mapplethorpe’s use of fur also recalls Meret Oppenheim’s Object, 1936, a sexually explicit, fur lined cup and saucer.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Self Portrait
  • date created:
    1980 (printed 1999)
  • materials:
    Gelatin silver print on paper
  • measurements:
    35.20 x 35.20 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:
    AL00361
  • gallery:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe