Preview – Imagine: Mapplethorpe – Look at the Pictures

Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe, self-portrait - 1980. Image Credit: BBC/Dogwoof/Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

There is a good reason that this documentary about American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe is on so late. For those not in the know, much of his work was, safe to say, a bit rude.

By that I mean that many of his critics considered his work downright pornographic, with his most controversial works concerning BDSM lifestyles in 1970s New York. Mapplethorpe himself was gay and died of complications caused by Aids.

This two-hour long documentary covers not just his fetishistic pictures, but all of his photographic work from still life to celebrity shoots, which earned him both praise and criticism.

Imagine: Mapplethorpe – Look at the Pictures is on BBC Two at 22.45.