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St. Martin's Press
"Mapplethorpe wants to photograph everything; that is , everything that can be made to pose. What he looks for, which could be called Form, is the quiddity or isness of something. Not the truth about something, but the strongest version of it...Certain People are, mostly, people found, coaxed, or arranged into a certainty about themselves. That is what seduces, that is what is disclosed in these bulletins of great photographer's observations and encounters." --Susan Sontag
"His eye for a face is the eye of a novelist in search of a character; his eye for a body that of a classical sculptor in search of an 'ideal.' His sitters-whenter celebrities or pick-ups, beautiful girls or his black friends-seem mesmerized not by the lens but by his presence, and they are temporarily transported into a dreamworld." --Bruce Chatwin
"Mapplethorpe's subject matter is portraits, still lifes, nudes and landscapes. His technical ability is flawless and takes the black-and-white photo to its limit, using subtle, but dramatic, lighting to create weighty sculptural forms (even his brunch of moisture-laden Concord grapes, on view, look as if carved from deep-black marble." --The San Francisco Examiner
An astonishing photographic study of black men today from the acclaimed portrait photographer.
In Black Book, Robert Mapplethorpe presents an astonishing photographic study of black men today. In their diversity, impact, subtlety, technical virtuosity, erotic appeal, and deep humanity, these photographs constitute a stunning celebration of the contemporary black male.
"all my life they've been near me/these men" says Ntozake Shange in her Foreword, "i've been holdin your heart in/my hand since i was a child/cause i wanted what all you were/what all you are/now you're a man."