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Jim, Sausalito
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Reference URL

Jim, Sausalito 1977

Not on display

  • Artist Rooms
Crouching in a dark bunker is ‘Jim’, clad in leather boots, trousers and mask – all typical of the gay S&M scene. The triangular shape formed by his body is bathed in light from above, as his gloved hands hold on to the rungs of a ladder which forms a grid of horizontals and verticals in the left half of the image. The man may look like the Beast in the Pit, but he seems attracted to the light above. Mapplethorpe, who was brought up a Catholic, was constantly drawn to the ambiguous relationships between light and dark, good and bad, heaven and hell. The figure’s gaze out of the frame suggests that perhaps he is not alone.


  • Acc. No. AR00198
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 34.20 x 34.20 cm (framed: 50.80 x 40.60 cm)
  • Credit 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