American photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe, is most noted for his large scale portraits of celebrities, flowers, female and male nudes.
Born in Queens, New York City, in 1946, Mapplethorpe studied graphic arts at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he developed an interest in collage using his own photographs. In the early 1970s he quickly became noted for his work with polaroids, taking pictures of his wide circle of friends, including famous artists, musicians, pornstars, and socialites.
Mapplethorpe attended the Documenta in Kassel in 1977 and 1982 and since his death in 1989 due to his illness with AIDS, his work has been shown worldwide, including the FRAC, Paris (2003), the Guggenheim, New York (2005), as well as the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2004), the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2004), the Reina Sofia, Madrid (2006), the National Museum, Stockholm (2007), the P.S.1 in New York (2006; 2008), and Tate Modern in London (2008). Recently, in spring 2014, works by Mapplethorpe were on view at the Grand Palais and the Musée Rodin in Paris.
Shortly before his death, Mapplethorpe established The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which has been promoting his and other photography and funding medical research in the fight against HIV/AIDS ever since.