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Robert Mapplethorpe

Back in the early 80's it was hard not to be impressed by Robert Mapplethorpe.  His images were everywhere.  He had both a unique vision and a level of technical ability which appealed widely, even to the mainstream art world.  The few detractors who insisted his work was pornographic were largely ignored by anyone with enough judgement to recognize deviancy had been transmuted into something of bold formal beauty.

Mapplethorpe, who died of AIDS in 1989, also made self-portraits.  I like his make up and hair in this one.

It seems so long ago.  Does anyone pursue a similar line of enquiry now?

I had got some new high heeled shoes (off eBay) and a few items of clothes (charity shops and a Chrissy pressie) so prepped for a dressing up shoot today.  Starting yesterday, of course, as it takes soooOOoooo long to get ready - and there would be very limited time with such weak winter daylight coming into the spare bedroom (with its blinds down).  Maybe a couple of hours at best.  I set my alarm clock for 10.30 - after watching TV till nearly 3am as 'Charlie Varrick' the terrific crime movie by Don Siegal was on, starring Walter Matthau in a rare non-comedic role. (That link is to the whole film so may not be there long!) It's a tough, cleverly plotted film which also has lots of glorious American summer sunshine, which I enjoyed, too as it's easy to forget what hot days looks like.

For today's dressing up shoot I was trying to copy a certain look I came across a few days ago which I liked - particuarly as I had several of the things she was wearing in the photo - the hat, the sunglasses, the bag, the short skirt and leggings, and my hair is getting sort of long. I also tried her walking to the camera thing - and came to appreciate what seems a relatively straightforward fashion photograph a whole lot more as a result. My efforts came out very different but maybe useable, I'm not sure yet.

But I ended the shoot by moving downstairs to the front room and with curtains closed did a series of self-portraits that might have made Robert Mapplethorpe blush had he been here. (If he had been I'm sure he'd at the very least have got the exposure right.)  It was debauched and I had a headache afterwards, I think I'm too much of a nice girl at heart and lack the redeeming quality of some kind of beauty.