Alison Jacques has represented the estate of Robert Mapplethorpe in the UK since 1999 and has showcased his work many times, often with the help of guest curators who either played an important role in the artist’s life or were influenced by his photographs. Among them was model David Croland, Mapplethorpe’s first long-term boyfriend, who curated “Robert Mapplethorpe: Fashion Show” in 2013. Croland’s portrait, enlarged to more than eleven feet high, welcomed visitors to this recent show, curated by another notorious photographer, eighteen years Mapplethorpe’s junior, Juergen Teller.
Like Mapplethorpe, Teller is renowned as a portraitist, often capturing celebrities in an unexpected light, both literally and metaphorically. If we compare the practices of the two men, Mapplethorpe seems almost traditional in his chiaroscuro depictions of nudes photographed against a neutral background.
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