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On this day in 1946, Robert Mapplethorpe was born

Artsy Editorial
Nov 14, 2012 9:37PM
Robert Mapplethorpe, 1983
Gagosian Gallery

A year before his death in 1989, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe gave an interview to Gary Indiana for BOMB Magazine, in which the two discussed Mapplethorpe’s practice and theories of photography. Although Mapplethorpe, born on November 11, 1946, is known for his graphic and forthright photographs, he was careful to draw a distinction between observer and voyeur. At a party in Mustique in 1976, Mapplethorpe snapped a candid photograph of Mick Jagger whispering in his wife Bianca’s ear. The photograph is intimate and private; “and I felt so awful,” Mapplethorpe said to Indiana twelve years later. “I thought, that sort of stuff epitomizes—stealing secrets and stuff, it’s just too not me at all... It’s so strange, you’re a total voyeur in that situation. You’ve got a camera and the camera’s between you and whatever else is happening.”

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