Who would have thought that the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and the sculptor Auguste Rodin have anything in common? Well, think again because at the moment an exhibition in the Parisian Musee Rodin proves all of us wrong. In the exhibition photographs from Mapplethorpe and sculptures from Rodin are compared and exhibited beside each other and the similarities are striking and it also shows once again that Paris is the capital of art combining, what seems to be non-combinable.
Robert Mapplethorpe: “Bill T. Jones”, 1985 und Auguste Rodin: “Génie funéraire” 1898
The photographer Mapplethorpe is known for his photographs of nude gay men that where his key inspiration, whereas Rodin is a celebrated artist for his sculptures of both naked men and women. The reason why they were put together in an exhibition is that they were both passionate about the human body, the one passionate about male bodies, whereas the other cared more about female bodies. This passion can be seen in all their works and it also shows how they both incorporated sexuality in their works.
Rodin using a female muse whereas Mapplethorpe uses a male muse
Another similarity beside their work is also that both artists have been criticized a lot for their obscene sculptures/photographs, which were very controversial at the time. And a final similarity between the two of them, which we can also see a lot in the modern fashion world is that both of them did not only use their models for artistic purposes but also for private purposes. But who knows maybe this is what makes both artists so good at their job, the passion for the models. Eventually it all comes down to this: Sex sold back in time and Sex definitely still sells today, which is why I think this unprecedented exhibition will have a lot of visitors.
April 8th to September 21st at the Musee Rodin
From April 8 to September 21, 2014