Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Art Photography Auction

As readers of my blog know there are many photographers who have influence the way I see and shoot. Ansel Adams, Minor White, Paul Strand, Helmut Newton just to name a few. But, none of these has influence me more than Robert Mapplethorpe.

Mapplethorpe was always an artist, creating beautiful and thought provoking collages, but did not pick up a camera until he was in his early twenties, starting with Polaroid images and making decorative and interesting frames out of the actual film casings. 

He is best know for his frank portrayal of the homosexual leather scene but he also had a wonderful way of lighting a subject, which sometimes got lost due to the frankness of his subject. But it wasn't only male nudes he photographer, some of his most beautiful images are of statues and flowers. Whether it be a male nude, or a flower, this sense of lighting and stark focus on the erotic around us has greatly influence my work and especially the current exhibition I am working on. So, it was wonderful to see that one of Mapplethorpe's  flower images, Calla Lilly, 1984 is going up for auction at the Heritage Auction, on June 9th in Dallas, Texas. The images is expected to sell for between $30,000 and $40,000. and to be the highlight of the auction.
As a photographer whose life was cut short at 42 at the hand of AIDS and who has been maligned after death due to his subject matter in showing a lifestyle that many don't even know exist, it is wonderful to see that their are still people out there who respect him for the photographer, the artist he was.

Mapplethorpe's image along with images by Irving Penn, Yousuf Karsh, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon represent some of the most famous and influential photographers ever.

I really wish I could be there and see these images and watch the gavel fall being envious of anyone who can afford such wonderful works of art.

Photography, for a long time during it's early years, was not consider a true fine art. But, photographers like these are the ones who helped make it a legitimate art form and have paved the way for me to do what I do.

Lately, with the digital mass marketing camera revolution, photography has become watered down and common place but it is my hope that this auction can spark the flame to those creative and innovative photographic artists to produce work that is inspiring, emotional, controversial and beautiful.

I know I will never stop shooting and my wife will probably find me dead either in my dark room or with a camera in my hand. My hope is that she will be right there beside me when I go and I am sure we will be well into our 80s by then. And I will still be photographing naked, beautiful people!

Thank you Robert.

No comments: