Robert Mapplethorpe is arguably one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Mapplethorpe discovered himself both sexually and artistically in New York City throughout the 70’s and 80’s, and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ondi Timoner’s narrative feature debut explores Mapplethorpe’s life from the moments he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea hotel, home to a world of bohemian chic. Here, he begins photographing its inhabitants and his new found circle of friends, including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars, and members of the S&M underground. Mapplethorpe’s work displayed erotisim in a way that had never been examined nor displayed before to the public. The film explores the intersection of his art and his sexuality, as well as his struggle for mainstream recognition. The biopic offers a nuanced portrait of an artist at the height of his craft, and of the self-destructive impulses that threaten to undermine it all.
USA 2018, 102 min, Dir: Ondi Timoner