A Paris Exhibit of Robert Mapplethorpe Brings '70s NYC to Life

A Paris Exhibit of Robert Mapplethorpe Brings '70s NYC to Life
Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe is being honored by the Grand Palais from March 26 until July 13, 2014. During this time, a retrospective of the artist will be held at the prestigious Parisian monument. More than 250 photographs will tell the story of the self-taught photographer and his adventures in the artsy New York of the 1970s and 1980s.

Although he died in his 40s in 1989, Mapplethorpe had an undeniable impact on the photography world during his relatively short life. He drew inspiration from diverse sources, especially those of underground origin. One of his muses, for example, was rocker Patti Smith.

He was not always a photographer, having begun his career in drawing after having completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts. However, Mapplethorpe was 'chosen by photography' as he himself put it. This came from a desire to immortalize his peers and contemporaries by transforming them into works of art. The photographer viewed photography as a quick way of sculpting a vision. He was therefore a sculptor of the figures around him, using an exciting and almost instant medium.

The Grand Palais's exhibition on Robert Mapplethorpe specifically focuses on the artist's revelation of bodily forms through images captured in 1970s New York. To further highlight Mapplethorpe's role as a sculptor, the Musée Rodin will hold a parallel exhibition from April 8 until September 21, 2014. Guests staying at one of the Grands Hôtels Parisiens can visit both centrally located museums with ease during their stay in Paris.