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Asking to Be Looked at

Wayne Koestenbaum, 25 January 1996

Mapplethorpe: A Biography 
by Patricia Morrisroe.
Macmillan, 461 pp., £20, September 1995, 9780333669419
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Playing with the Edge: The Photographic Achievement of Robert Mapplethorpe 
by Arthur Danto.
California, 206 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 520 20051 9
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... tyrannical censorship. No artist – and Mapplethorpe was a fine one – deserves such treatment. Patricia Morrisroe’s biography has the virtue of the emphatic. In no uncertain terms she shows that Mapplethorpe was just a fellow who worked assiduously to take pictures of what obsessed him. The nature of his preoccupations, and the movement of his ...

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