The American artist Robert Mapplethorpe dominated the world of photography during the outgoing 20th century and was one of the most important and provocative photographers of his time. Although he was a cultural figure during his lifetime, no other photographer of his time was so controversially debated.
His technical precision left nothing to chance and the objective photographic approach he took towards his models, as though he was documenting sculptures, was highlighted all the more by his focus on isolated details of individual body parts. Mapplethorpe returned to the iconography of ancient and renaissance, developed his own photographic style, and designed a neo-classical image of the human body, which found its way into commercial photography. His inimitable photographic style is characterized by radically reduced compositions of formal perfection, imbued with extraordinarily sculptural qualities. The thematic diversity and the immediacy of the productions make Mapplethorpes photographs timeless and give his photographs an irresistible attraction.