Robert Mapplethorpe

Object Details


Robert Mapplethorpe


Andy Warhol (American, 1928 - 1987)






Polaroid dye diffusion print


9.5 × 7.3 cm (3 3/4 × 2 7/8 in.)


© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

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Inspired by Andy Warhol's film Chelsea Girls (1966), Robert Mapplethorpe moved to Manhattan in 1969 to meet the artist and to emulate him-in art, lifestyle, and material success. After he settled at the Chelsea Hotel, where segments of Warhol's film were shot, he began making photographs, often self-portraits or portraits of his roommate, the poet Patti Smith, and usually with a borrowed Polaroid camera.

Mapplethorpe's maturing approach to photography resembled Warhol's in many ways. He had no patience for the technical side of the medium and prided himself on gaining a reputation without ever having made a print himself. Portraiture was his main theme, and he used the camera as a means of making connections with celebrities, potential patrons, and possible lovers. In the 1980s, sales of Mapplethorpe's pictures soared. Warhol was commissioned to paint his portrait, so Mapplethorpe sat for the preparatory Polaroids, including this one. In turn, Warhol sat for Mapplethorpe in 1986.

- 1998

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts New York, NY, US

Nadar/Warhol: Paris/New York (July 20, 1999 to May 28, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 1999
  • The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), November 6, 1999 to January 30, 2000
  • The Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore), March 12 to May 28, 2000
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium (March 15 to July 31, 2016)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), March 15 to July 31, 2016
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium (September 10, 2016 to March 4, 2018)
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montréal), September 10, 2016 to January 22, 2017
  • Kunsthal Rotterdam, April 22 to August 27, 2017

Nadar/Warhol: Paris/New York (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum), fig. 1.

Baldwin, Gordon, and Judith Keller. Nadar Warhol: Paris New York: Photography and Fame. Introduction by Richard Brilliant. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1999), p. 176.