Friday, December 4, 2009

Atoms Colliding

Sam Wagstaff.   You probably don't know his name, unless you're in the art world. 

Robert Mapplethorpe.   Maybe his name rings a bell, when you think of iconic and very controversial gay imagery. 

They were two men, who connected during a raw and exciting time.   Wagstaff, born with a pedigree and the privlieges that come with such circumstances, and Mapplethorpe his polar opposite, smashed together like two atoms, and the resulting blast shook the 70s and beyond. 

I watched, "Black, White and Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe" the other night and was enthralled.   It's an amazing true life story about two men, who likely would never have been remembered for much if they hadn't met.   

While many recognize Robert Mapplethorpe as the photographer of explicit subject matter mostly pertaining to gay bondage themes, many don't recognize Sam Wagstaff at all even though he is responsible for shaping and setting the standard for photographic art collecting the world over.   These two men had incredible backstories and when they met, and began a relationship it was amazing.  Of course it took place in the 70s and 80s, and it was in NYC  during a time when gay life was much different...much freer, and raw in some respects than it is now.   The film is FANTASTIC.

If you haven't seen "Black, White and Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe"  you really should.   I watched it free at which is a spectaular free (and legitimate!) movie site where you can watch scads of documentaries and films for free. 


Kevin said...

i've heard of this!

you just made it sound even more i'll def. have to see it!

Brooke Santor said...

I rented this online and I could have watched it for free???? You are righ it was amazing.

Wonder Man said...


markwagnal said...

I am going to have to watch this. I actually remember seeing a Mapplethorpe exhibit at the Whitney when I was a freshman in college.

Scotty Farrell said...

Maplethorpe took amazing pictures. It is a very interesting story.

Lawrence said...

Not a big art fan here but it is a kick to see what life was like in those times. Great post and thanks for the link.

Powered by Blogger