Is it art? Or is it obscene? Thatwas the question an Ohio jury had to decide regarding the photographsof Robert Mapplethorpe. These photographs included images ofhomoeroticism that shocked many people. In an interview shortly beforehis death from AIDS, Mapplethorpe said he regarded sex as the mostimportant human activity.
Mapplethorpe often combines elegantblack and white photographs of nudes and flowers, creating a contextfrom the view to consider the beauty of similar forms. During theobscenity trial, Mapplethorpe’s photographs were looked at individually,outside of their intended context.
Take a look at some of Mapplethorpe’s work at: http://www.mapplethorpe.org/portfolios/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
- Pretend you were on the defense team representing Mapplethorpe inthe Ohio obscenity case, make the case for art viewed IN context.
- Use the language of form, scale, tone, composition, narrative, andthe rest of the visual elements of art and principles of design.
- Choose one of Mapplethorpe’s six folios (self portraits, male nudes,female nudes, flowers, portraits, and statuary) on the website.
- Describe how the images relate to one another within the context of the group.
- Describe why seeing these images in a folio contributes to the meaning or artistic value.
- Why would the artist group these images together intentionally? What relationships can you see between the images?
- Be sure to provide thorough replies to both your peer responses/replies. Replies are worth just as much as your initial post- so, make them just as engaging! Each discussion is graded with a rubric, it’s available for your viewing. Let me know if you have any questions on any aspect of it.
Make sure to embed your image into the post- not sure how? I’ve posted instructions on the General Discussion Board. This is a requirement for Discussions.