YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Mapplethorpe Images

February 04, 1990

Mapplethorpe's life as a sexual individual and his attraction to our revolving identities is enough to create more than just a "small cult following."

Yes, Mr. Wilson, he dangled the dramatics of sexual deviation in front of us. And such leather-bound deviation is rife with varied interpretation. But homosexuality and sexual experimentation are no rare experiences, and those of us who are flagrantly and proudly gay support any and all expressions of open individuality--or social deviance.

Wilson tries to define human diversity as segregated "special interest groups." But the empathy he is seeking in Mapplethorpe's work is evident in reproductions of the human face, the human form.

What I am shocked at is the great deal of fear in Wilson's review, much akin to the hysteria surrounding this exhibit. The fear that, without constraints, freedom can be a dangerous thing.

But I respect the strength of the individual to interpret the questions that Mapplethorpe's images arouse in such a way as to solidify a life-embracing morality and to lighten the seriousness with which man confronts his own fears, sexuality, role playing and death.



Los Angeles

Los Angeles Times Articles