|Patti Smith, 1976|
This is one of Mapplethorpe’s most carefully structured images. Patti Smith, the American singer-songwriter and Mapplethorpe had lived together in the late 1960s and remained close friends after they parted. In this photo Smith is posing nude in a hunched-up, seated position, so that her body becomes the centre of a network of vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines.
by Robert Mapplethorpe
This portrait of the American singer-songwriter, Patti Smith, was taken in the same year that her first album, ‘Horses’, appeared (1975). Indeed, this photograph was taken during the same session in which the album’s cover image was shot. Mapplethorpe and Smith had lived together in the late 1960s and remained close friends after they parted. In this photograph Mapplethorpe captures Smith’s unconventional and androgynous side. The pose looks very informal, but Mapplethorpe has taken care to align the verticals of the tie and the side of Smith’s face and has set up a series of diagonals with her arms and the other half of the tie.
|Patti Smith, 1978|
Mapplethorpe rarely photographed anyone or anything in movement. Here the wind seems to have caught the cloth that Patti Smith has wrapped around herself. Otherwise the pose and composition are classically frontal and centralised. Mapplethorpe has used the row of headers in the brick wall and the narrow strip of ground to provide horizontal lines above and below the vertical figure of Smith to give stability to the composition.
|Patti Smith, 1979|
This famous photograph of Patti Smith is a study in contrasts, not only between the black hair and white doves, between the gossamer-lightness of the dress and the sharpness of Smith’s features; but between the peaceful, almost arcadian atmosphere conjured up by the tree, doves and dress and the intensity of Smith’s gaze and expression.