Live The Life: Robert Mapplethorpe

Live The Life: Robert Mapplethorpe

More than 20 years after his death, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s work still smolders with a pensive eroticism. From the posed formality of his nudes to the tender curves of his floral still lifes, a candid, sometimes confrontational sensuality underscores much of his imagery. Patti Smith’s 2010 memoir, Just Kids, reignited interest in the singer’s singular and complex relationship with Mapplethorpe -- and the casual, yet subtly perverse, style he fostered from behind the lens. “I learned from him,” Smith wrote of her lover, friend, and muse, “that often contradiction is the clearest way to truth.”

Photography by Koji Yano

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2. Vintage neckerchief available at Wasteland, San Francisco, price available upon request

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