The J. Paul Getty Museum

Man in Polyester Suit

Object Details


Man in Polyester Suit


Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946 - 1989)




New York, New York, United States (Place Created)


negative 1980; print 1981


Gelatin silver print

Object Number:



45.5 × 35.4 cm (17 15/16 × 13 15/16 in.)


© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Credit Line:

Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation

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Object Description

Black man in grey suit and vest with his uncircumsized penis hanging out of his zipper.

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium (March 15 to July 31, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 15 to July 31, 2016

Mapplethorpe, Robert. Robert Mapplethorpe: 1970-1983, exh. cat. (London: Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1983), p. 46.

Mapplethorpe, Robert. Black Book (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986), p. 55.

Marshall, Richard. Robert Mapplethorpe, exh. cat. (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art in association with New York Graphic Society Books, 1988), p. 95.

Mapplethorpe, Robert.Robert Mapplethorpe: Ten by Ten (Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 1988), pl. 55.

Kardon, Janet. Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment, exh. cat., 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, 1989), p. 69.

Danto, Arthur C. Mapplethorpe (New York: Random House, 1992), p. 335, pl. 117.

Celant, Germano. Mapplethorpe, exh. cat. (London: Hayward Gallery; Electa; SBC, 1992), p. 145.

Danto, Arthur C. Playing with the Edge: The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 110.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Stern Spezial Fotografie, portfolio no. 33 (Dusseldorf: Te Neues, 2003), p. 19.

Phillips, Sandra, ed. Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera since 1870, exh. cat. (San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), pl. 57.

Molesworth, Helen. This Will Have Been: Art, Love, & Politics in the 1980s, exh. cat. (Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; New Haven: In association with Yale University Press, 2012), p. 370. [caption incorrectly reads "Man in Suit, 1980"].