The J. Paul Getty Museum

Self-Portrait, N.Y.C.

Object Details


Self-Portrait, N.Y.C.


Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946 - 1989)




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




Selenium toned gelatin silver print

Object Number:



19.5 × 19.5 cm (7 11/16 × 7 11/16 in.)


© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Credit Line:

Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation

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Object Description

Self-portrait with bullwhip inserted into rectum.

Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ (October 21, 2012 to March 24, 2013)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), October 21, 2012 to March 24, 2013
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
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
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), October 28, 2017 to March 4, 2018

Marshall, Richard. Robert Mapplethorpe, exh. cat. (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art in association with New York Graphic Society Books, 1988), p. 75.

Mapplethorpe, Robert.Robert Mapplethorpe: Ten by Ten (Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 1988), pl. 46.

Storr, Robert. "Art, Censorship, and the First Amendment: This Is Not a Test." Art Journal 50, no. 3 (Autumn 1991), pp. 12-28, fig. 8.

Danto, Arthur C. Mapplethorpe (New York: Random House, 1992), p. 321, pl. 47.

Celant, Germano. Mapplethorpe, exh. cat. (London: Hayward Gallery; Electa; SBC, 1992), p. 31.

Danto, Arthur C. Playing with the Edge: The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), p. 58.

Levas, Dimitri, ed. Pictures: Robert Mapplethorpe (Santa Fe: Arena Editions; New York: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, 1999), unpaginated.

Meyer, Richard. Outlaw Representation: Censorship & Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 197, figs. 4.27, 4.28 (variant).

Celant, Germano. Robert Mapplethorpe: Tra antico e modern. Un'antologia, exh. cat. (Firenze: Artificio; Milano: Skira, 2005), p. 157.

Mapplethorpe, Robert. Mapplethorpe. Rev. ed. (Kempen, Germany; New York: teNeues, 2007), pl. 47.

Biesenbach, Klaus, ed. Into Me/Out of Me, exh. cat. (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2007), pp. 300-01.