2015 marks the 25th anniversary of Mapplethorpe’s controversial exhibition “The Perfect Moment”, which opened in Cincinnati a year after the artist’s death from AIDS in 1989.
Now FotoFocus (the Cincinnati nonprofit that champions photography internationally) and the Contemporary Arts Center (which hosted the show from November 6 through March 13, 2016) have teamed up for a symposium October 23 – 24, making for a timely opportunity to revisit his indelible images and career.
Under the leadership of Mary Ellen Goeke, Executive Director of FotoFocus; Raphaela Platow, Director of Contemporary Arts Center; and curated by Kevin Moore, Artistic Director of FotoFocus, an international roster of curators, critics, artists, and art world professionals will discuss the significance and implications of the exhibition and Mapplethorpe’s career and legacy as these have evolved over the past 25 years: although best known for his iconic flowers and male nudes, Mapplethorpe began documenting the New York S&M scene in the 70s, producing some of the images in “The Perfect Moment” that sparked controversy. Having started out making portraits of downtown artists and musician friends like Patti Smith, Mapplethorpe later shot fashion editorials for French and Italian Vogue in the 80s.
CAPTION: Self Portrait, 1980 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.