In the Polaroid offered here, Patti Smith is partly blurred, caught mid-turn, but her eyes remain fixed on Mapplethorpe, her soulmate. According to Smith, Mapplethorpe "saw more in me than I could see in myself. Whenever he peeled away the image from the Polaroid negative, he would say, 'With you, I can't miss.'" From the very beginning of his appreciation for this instant medium, he photographed his friend, muse and lover Patti Smith, capturing the intimacy that transcended their relationship. This lot is the only Polaroid by Mapplethorpe in the Piero Bisazza Collection.
Andy Warhol and the Polaroid
During the 1970s up until his untimely death in 1987, Andy Warhol's camera of choice for his silkscreen portraits was the Polaroid Big Shot. A close-up camera with a fixed focal lens and built-in flash, the Big Shot was perfect for taking portraits and made it easy for Warhol to quickly take multiple shots of his subject. To prepare for the shoot, women's faces were often painted with white makeup to achieve a smooth appearance and men were posed to conceal any flaws. For most sittings, Warhol was known to go through a few packs of film, and at the end of a shoot, he would select a small number of Polaroids to be sent off and re-photographed in 35mm, printed as 8 x 10 acetates and then re-printed in 40 x 40 to be finally transformed into the silkscreens.