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PATTI SMITH on ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
PATTI SMITH ON ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE | JUST KIDS. The high priestess of rock retraces the steps that took her from her childhood in Chicago to New York. It was there that she met the extreme photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who forged a path of art, devotion and initiation together with her. 
Via Monte Napoleone, Milan




Film Interview:.

PATTI SMITH | JUST KIDS
director: Matt Dowson







Film Interview:.
PATTI SMITH | JUST KIDS
director: Matt Dowson
starring: Patti Smith
shot on location: Libreria Feltrinelli
libretto:
Patti Smith,Todd Bartholomew
music: Patti Smith, Ann Hell



PATTI SMITH | JUST KIDS. The high priestess of rock retraces the steps that took her from her childhood in Chicago to New York. It was there that she met the extreme photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who forged a path of art, devotion and initiation together with her. One day Patti and Robert were walking together, enjoying the Indian summer in the city. They came across an elderly couple, who stopped and gazed at them, entranced. “Take their picture,” said the woman. “Why?” said the husband, “they’re just kids.” ...


courtesy of  Patti Smith, 1986                                  Patti Smith, 1986 
                                                                              

My first meeting with Robert was very simple..I was looking for some friends in Brooklyn..I was twenty, I had left home and was looking for my friends, as I needed a floor to crash on..but they had moved….I didn’t know what to do….there was this guy there who said…“go and ask my roommate….maybe he knows where they’ve gone”…I walked into the room, there was a small iron bed…it was very hot..it was summer..and there was a boy sleeping..with masses of dark curls….I stood there and looked at him…..suddenly he opened his eyes and smiled….that’s how I met Robert. Ever since, my first image of Robert has been of him smiling.” Thus begins Matt Dowson’s interview film PATTI SMITH | JUST KIDS..


Patti Smith, 1976
Patti Smith is a good autobiographer and she does it without sparing herself, with the composed exuberance of an artist who has scaled the peaks of success and of her art, and with the objective passion of one who through her fame has learned to handle both bright and profoundly dark moments. The high priestess of rock retraces the steps that took her from her childhood in Chicago to New York.


Self Portrait, 1975

There she met the extreme photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who forged a path of art, devotion and initiation alongside her. Together they discovered that rock, politics and sex are the essential ingredients of the future revolution. The real bond between Patti and Robert is one of friendship.


Self Portrait, 1980

A rare, pure and precious friendship. An explicit bond of mutual support based on shared dreams, visions and ideas. And art. Just Kids is the confession of one of the towering female figures of American rock, an original poet, a muse and a woman who has made her home on the edge of convention.

Todd Bartholomew


ROBERT MAPPLETHORP (1946- 1989) | BIOGRAPHY

Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. Of his childhood he said, "I come from suburban America. It was a very safe environment and it was a good place to come from in that it was a good place to leave."
In 1963, Mapplethorpe enrolled at Pratt Institute in nearby Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he also experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages, including images cut from books and magazines. He acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970 and began producing his own photographs to incorporate into the collages, saying he felt "it was more honest." That same year he and Patti Smith, whom he had met three years earlier, moved into the Chelsea Hotel
.



Derrick Cross, 1985

Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. In 1973, the Light Gallery in New York City mounted his first solo gallery exhibition, "Polaroids." Two years later he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.


Self Portrait, 1972

In the late 70s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S & M scene. The resulting photographs are shocking for their content and remarkable for their technical and formal mastery. Mapplethorpe told ARTnews in late 1988, "I don't like that particular word 'shocking.' I'm looking for the unexpected. I'm looking for things I've never seen before … I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them." Meanwhile his career continued to flourish. In 1977, he participated in Documenta 6 in Kassel, West Germany and in 1978, the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City became his exclusive dealer.


Self Portrait, 1985

Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first World Women's Bodybuilding Champion, in 1980. Over the next several years they collaborated on a series of portraits and figure studies, a film, and the book, Lady, Lisa Lyon.


Lydia Cheng, 1987

Throughout the 80s, Mapplethorpe produced a bevy of images that simultaneously challenge and adhere to classical aesthetic standards: stylized compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and studio portraits of artists and celebrities, to name a few of his preferred genres.


David Hockney, 1976

He introduced and refined different techniques and formats, including color "20 x 24" Polaroids, photogravures, platinum prints on paper and linen, Cibachrome and dye transfer color prints.


Thomas, 1987

In 1986, he designed sets for Lucinda Childs' dance performance, Portraits in Reflection, created a photogravure series for Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell, and was commissioned by curator Richard Marshall to take portraits of New York artists for the series and book, 50 New York Artists.
That same year, in 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Despite his illness, he accelerated his creative efforts, broadened the scope of his photographic inquiry, and accepted increasingly challenging commissions. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, one year before his death in 1989
.


Self Portrait, 1988

His vast, provocative, and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Today Mapplethorpe is represented by galleries in North and South America and Europe and his work can be found in the collections of major museums around the world. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on through the work of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. He established the Foundation in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art, and to fund medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIV-related infection.



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