Self Portrait 1975

In this retrospective of renowned photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, C|O Berlin presents no less than 187 photos from his career. The exhibition focuses on the development of his photographic work, from examples of his early Polaroids to the later still-lives and portraits of Warhol, Debbie Harry, Grace Jones and Patti Smith. Obviously Mapplethorpe has a reputation for producing work of a strongly sexualised content. However, from this work it becomes clear that the scandalous aura surrounding his work should be viewed as an aspect of its historical setting and is therefore a matter of the viewer’s interpretation.

Whether you feel scandalised or not, you cannot fault the utterly flawless and poised compositions which have not dated. The concentration and objectivity suffuses his work with a freshness and relevance that have lasted to this day.

C|O Berlin at the Postfuhramt
Oranienburger Straße 35/36
10117 Berlin

Till March 27th, 2011

Words by Anna Bang

Patti Smith 1975

Dennis Speight 1983

Self Portrait 1985

Alistair Butler 1980

Phillip Prioleau 1983

All Photographs © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.


C|O Berlin, Robert Mapplethorpe,