The Scissor Sisters, who opened for Lady Gaga in New York last night, are infatuated with Robert Mapplethorpe — so much so that the band featured his photography on its Night Work album and related single covers and interpreted his imagery in a recent video. An iconic artist, who both shocked and wooed art lovers with his powerful pictures of sensual nudity, unsettling sadomasochism, and obscure objects of desire, Mapplethorpe followed his own creative path, while always maintaining a magical sense of mystery.
Passing away in 1989 from an AIDS-related illness at age 42, Mapplethorpe continues to inspire new generations of artists — due in part to the admirable efforts of his foundation, which has made his art accessible to multiple museum and gallery shows and invited artists Cindy Sherman, Vik Muniz, David Hockney, and others to curate surveys of his work. Now it’s the Scissor Sisters’’ turn, which lead singer Jake Shears takes on with glee — mixing Mapplethorpe’s photos and sculptures with a fascinating group of younger artists that have rightly been influenced by the master of pared-down form and erotic content in a lively show, on view through March 19, at London’s Alison Jacques Gallery.
Click through below for a gallery of images by Mapplethorpe and his followers and a video of the opening of the exhibition.
Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Lyon, 1981. Silver gelatin print. 40.6 x 50.8 cm / 16 x 20 in paper size