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. He was a cultural figure during his lifetime. No other photographer has been so controversially debated both during his life and after.
His technical precision left nothing to chance and the objective photographic approach he took towards his models was as though he was documenting sculptures. It was often highlighted all the more by his focus on isolated details of individual body parts. Mapplethorpe returned to the iconography of ancient and renaissance art, developed his own photographic style, and designed a neo-classical image of the human body, which found its way into his commercial photography. His inimitable photographic style is characterized by radically reduced compositions of formal perfection, imbued with extraordinary sculptural qualities. The thematic diversity and the immediacy found between the photographer and his subjects make Mapplethorpe's photographs timeless and gives them an irresistible appeal.