Photography // Robert Mapplethorpe and Juergen Teller

Being an avid fan of both Mapplethorpe and Teller alike, it was absolute necessity that I visit the exhibition at Allison Jacques Gallery, London. Having initially heard of its existence whilst it was situated in LA, unfortunately a slightly less accessible location for me to visit, I genuinely hoped and prayed it would soon be visiting the UK. Thank goodness it did; this was one of the most divine photography exhibitions I have had the opportunity to visit and will remember it for ever. 

The union worked as not only an exhibition of Robert's images, but as an exhibition, in its own right, of a progressing story, environment and collection of emotions that Teller has the ability to can create and induce.

"Provocative and subversive, making images which are the antithesis of conventional fashion photography, Juergen Teller was the only choice to curate this special exhibition of Robert's work. There are obvious parallels between these two artists and I believe Jurgen's eye will bring a new reading of Robert's Work." Jacques

Often when one thinks of Mapplethorpe's work, we instinctively picture his more sexually explicit and provocative images, of which were often dominated by homoeroticism. And whenever researching the photographer or when any collections of his work are curated and brought together, this is almost all of what is primarily shown, much to my slight disappointment. Upon their visit I was ecstatic to find that Juergen had taking the refreshing approach of showing great diversity from Mapplethorpe's portfolio. Obscure polaroids, still-life features and human subjects were paired with his more notable works. This more romantic view is one that any true fan themselves see's Robert's work collectively and I loved that it was shown in with this quality.

Teller ultimately summarised Mapplethorpe's 'lifelong quest for perfection of form, whatever the subject matter may be'

Teller used pairings to illustrate of images portraying tranquility and those of a more sexual nature, he  gave a unique insight into the multiplicity of Mapplethorpe's technique. The couplings show how his work contained equal amounts of poetic intensity in his work from the darker and the more innocent in nature. 

Seeing these images displayed in real life definitely added further depth and admiration of both Mapplethorpe and Teller's creativity and work. I only hope there will be similar collaborations of photographers and creative directors on exhibition in the future, as this was truly unique in it's creation.

Did anyone else visit the exhibit? If so what did you think


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