Friday, August 28, 2015

365 Project - Day 240 - "Self Portrait with the Master"

August 28, 2015 - "Self Portrait with the Master"

I was talking with a good friend about this particular photograph just this afternoon... which led me to take this shot.

The artwork is "Calla Lily" (1986) by Robert Mapplethorpe.

Mapplethorpe is one of my all-time favorite photographers... and this particular image of his is one of my all-time favorite photographs - which is why I have this print of it framed and hanging in my bedroom.

Looking at "Calla Lily" online doesn't do it justice. The images you find on the internet are almost always poor quality copies that appear to have the whites blown-out. Even the image of it on the Guggenheim Museum's website pales in comparison to the actual photograph.

Seeing the photograph in person, however, is an entirely different experience indeed. It's a rather large print... about 20"x20". Everything about it borders on perfection - at least in my mind. The whites are beautifully bright, but not blown-out. The blacks are deep and pure. Everything about it - the exposure... the focus... the detail - is amazing. The image is both "hard" and "soft"... both "strong" and "delicate" - at the same time.

In my days as a picture framer I had the pleasure of working with several original Robert Mapplethorpe photographs. Being able to touch them... to examine them up close - was truly an honor. I was in awe!

And so I found myself standing in my bedroom gazing at my framed print of "Calla Lily"... and when I noticed myself staring back at me I reached for my camera and captured the image of me with the master.

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