Photographer Unknown, (Looking at Mapplethorpe), Photo Shoot, Model Unknown
In June 1989, just a few months after his passing from AIDS, a retrospective of over 150 of Robert Mapplethorpe’s works, titled “The Perfect Moment” was due to open at the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, DC. In a misguided attempt to avoid controversy due to the sexually-explicit nature of some of the photographs, the director cancelled the exhibition.
In protest, Mapplethorpe supporters congregated outside the gallery on the evening of June 30, 1989, projecting giant images of his work onto the side of the building, creating a powerful and moving tribute, and demonstrating the strong impact that the artist’s work had made on popular culture.
“I am obsessed with beauty. I want everything to be perfect, and of course it isn’t. And that’s a tough place to be because you’re never satisfied.”