“I began to take photographs because photography seemed to be the perfect medium for interpreting the existential complexity of our era. I try to capture this complexity and bring an order to it. “ -ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
Galeri Nev Istanbul will be hosting the second personal exhibition of the American artist Robert Mapplethorpe in Istanbul, between the dates June 3-July 31.
Curated by Serra Yentürk, the exhibition aims to give a new perspective to the audience through his lesser known works, bringing the essentials of Robert Mapplethorpe’s art into view by avoiding a biographic narrative.
Emphasizing sculptural and pictorial elements in his work is an impulse which directed Mapplethorpe throughout his career. Mostly influenced by the “Photo-Seccessionists” movement of Stieglitz, Day and Steichen as well as the leading name Nadar, Mapplethorpe’s photography has evolved to a conception of classical form in the beginning of the 1970s. In parallel to that, when he stopped shooting Polaroid and began to use Hasselblad 500 – which forced him to work slower in the borders of a square format viewfinder – he completely quit improvisation in his art.
Body builders which he has been photographing for years, are the embodiment of his great interest in sculpture. Behind his interest in these bodies, different than his earlier pornographic works, lies a reason connected to a relationship with the discipline that has been a main subject in his own art practice.
Mapplethorpe, who developed various collages of photos in the beginning of his artistic life, is also headed for an internal aesthetics of fragment in his photography.
It’s inherent to the era of the artist, there is a repetitive duality in his works: good and bad, light and shadow, past and future, masculine and feminine. His effort is to become free from anything that is repressive. In a totally contemporary context, Mapplethorpe desires everlasting beauty.