Thursday 21 April 2016


Well-known for his hard-hitting provocative images, the American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989), was also an accomplished portrait photographer. According to the photographer, 'I went into photography, because it seemed like a perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today's existence.'

A significant collection of Mapplethorpe's images of musicians, artists and well-known faces from the 70's and 80's can be seen at Robert Mapplethorpe, The Magic in the Muse, at The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, Co Durham - but hurry, the exhibition closes on Sunday 24th April 2016.

The large-scale graphic black and white images of the photographer's close friend and collaborator Patti Smith, plus shots of Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Iggy Pop and more, are all on loan from ARTIST ROOMS, a collection of contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland in 2008. 

Patti Smith by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1975
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation