Robert Mapplethorpe

Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter

About this artwork

Humour is not something that we tend to associate with Mapplethorpe’s work, but this double portrait certainly has it. Unusually, Mapplethorpe has chosen to photograph these two men not in a neutral setting but in a cluttered environment of questionable taste. The implication is that this is where the men live. They are dressed in full black leather gear and the submissive seated partner is chained up and shackled to the bearded standing figure. The sado-masochistic ritual that is being enacted contrasts totally with the homey living room. The only pointer to darker currents is the table to the right made of deer antlers.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter
  • date created:
    1979
  • materials:
    Gelatin silver print on paper
  • measurements:
    34.10 x 34.10 cm (framed: 50.80 x 40.60 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:
    AR00196
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe