‘BKatja eauty and the devil,” said Robert Mapplethorpe, “are the same thing.” The American photographer was famously obsessed with the physical aesthetic and its role within contemporary culture, and his trademark monochrome images remain some of the most potent and beautifully rendered examples of youth and masculinity in the artistic canon. A selection of Mapplethorpe’s work features in Tough and Tender, an exhibition at Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery focusing on youth and the notion of gender. “Mappelhorpe’s photos thrill to the sensation of smooth skin,” says curator Christopher Chapman. The exhibition shows the work of internationally renowned photographers including Larry Clark, Collier Schorr, Nan Goldin and Chris Burden alongside Australian artists Warwick Baker and Rozalind Drummond.
“We see boy hustlers acting tough in Larry Clark’s photos but we know they really crave protection and love,” says Chapman. “These images show that when you reveal your deepest feelings, there’s always the risk of a broken heart.” until October 16. runs at the National Portrait Gallery
(2015) by Warwick Baker
(1980) by Robert Mapplethorpe;
(1983) by Nan Goldin; (1979) by Clark; (2016) by Rozalind Drummond; Hugh (2015) by Warwick Baker; James Ford (1979) by Robert Mapplethorpe; Beno (2016) by Baker