Exhibition: Teller on Mapplethorpe

Frogs 1984, Madeline Stowe 1982, Cookie Mueller 1978, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

To mark what would have been the late Robert Mapplethorpe’s 70th birthday, the Alison Jacques Gallery in London will launch a dedicated exhibition, with all works selected by German photographer Juergen Teller.

From his early Polaroids in 1970, to the final works he made before his death in 1989, the New York-based photographer moved and shocked the art word with his candid portrayals of musicians, artists, porn stars and members of the S&M underground. Mapplethorpe’s close relationship with musician Patti Smith sparked many of his most famous works. Photographs of the bohemian pair in the infamous Chelsea Hotel, where they lived in decadent squalor for a short period, are particularly iconic. 

Like Mapplethorpe before him, Teller was selected on account of his dual appeal as an artist and commercial fashion photographer. Both photographers are recognised for their ‘in your face’ style and boundary pushing impact, though Mapplethorpe ducked away from his reputation to shock; “I don't like that particular word 'shocking.' I'm looking for the unexpected. I'm looking for things I've never seen before … I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them.”

Whistles highly recommend paying a visit, to what promises to be a vibrant and fascinating retrospective.

Teller on Mapplethorpe runs from 17 November - 7 January 2017.