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Mapplethorpe: A Biography

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Mapplethorpe: A Biography

Current Status:
In Season
Patricia Morrisroe
Random House
Biography, Pop Culture

We gave it a B

Less than a year before his death in 1989, the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe — renowned for his homoerotic, S &amp M, and floral stills — agreed to this biography. He was, in other words, a cooperative and available subject, a combination that’s become increasingly rare in the world of profiling famous lives. Patricia Morrisroe takes Mapplethorpe: A Biography from his miserable childhood in a conservative Queens, N.Y., neighborhood, through his early artistic forays at Pratt Institute, his friendship with the rock writer/poet Patti Smith, his adventures in the gay subculture of Greenwich Village, his conquest of the art world, and his death from AIDS. Morrisroe sacrifices the immediacy that makes for an absorbing story in favor of the distance that allows for scholarly judgment. B