Robert MAPPLETHORPE, Larry and Bobby, NYC Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America 1946 – 1989

Larry and Bobby, NYC 1979 Place made: New York, United States of America
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph Edition: 2/10

Dimensions: printed image 35.1 h x 35.0 w cm sheet 50.5 h x 40.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.3282
Image rights: © Robert Mapplethorpe Estate
  • Purchased 1980

This is one of a series of intimate images by Mapplethorpe of gay lovers embracing or kissing, photographs not necessarily made for the community they depicted. The historical significance of these photographs – as well as Mapplethorpe’s more explicit images of gay sex – rests both in their frankness and the way they presented an image of gay identity that did not rely on nor parody conventional male/female relations. Much of the power of these pictures rests in the apparent trust that infiltrates the tight formal connection between Larry, Bobby and Mapplethorpe.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra