Robert Mapplethorpe

Self Portrait

About this artwork

Mapplethorpe portrays himself as the archetypal bad boy, with black leather jacket, dark shirt, cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth, the coolly appraising gaze and the carefully coiffed 1950s-style hair. Mapplethorpe was keen to promote this image of himself as cool and impervious to emotion. The composition helps to underscore this. The pose is wholly frontal and composed so that his mouth lies at the very centre of the photograph.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Self Portrait
  • date created:
    1980
  • materials:
    Gelatin silver print on paper
  • measurements:
    34.00 x 34.10 cm (framed: 68.60 x 65.90 x 2.80 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • accession number:
    AR00225
  • gallery:
  • depicted:
  • subject:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe