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You had to know that eventually I would get around to doing one of these on Robert Mapplethorpe.  His black and white photographs are an inspiration to anyone who loves black and white imagery.  He also worked in colour, but is more known for the black and white images.

Mapplethorpe 1He also photographed a lot of flowers.  Which is the part of his art practice that I have always enjoyed the most.  The flowers were nearly always quite simple specimens.

Mapplethorpe 2He manipulated the flowers to suit the images he wanted.  Just because it was a flower and would look normal in most images, didn’t mean that he had to do the same thing.  He made the flowers work for the image that he wanted to create.

Mapplethorpe 3There is a simplicity in his work, something that I have tried to achieve as well.  He doesn’t let the box that contains the image get cluttered with unnecessary props.

Mapplethorpe 4You get to see the beauty of the flower and what it has to offer.

Mapplethorpe 5When he does use props they are used to help the image in creating lines that work for the flowers he is photographing.

I think for me it is all about the lines, which also works with my architectural images, and when I photograph flowers, I usually look for simple flowers that have beautiful lines and a simple elegance.

Cole 1One of my images, and I think you would have to agree that there is a definite Mapplethorpe influence in it.  The trick, I believe, is finding the right perfect flower.

Detail of Death 3There are those lines again.  I like looking for those.  I have to say that I am attracted to many of the same flowers as Mapplethorpe.  I don’t think I have to do the same images, but it is a good idea to try and imitate when you first start out.  It is a fantastic way of learning.  I know I have said that before, but I still think so.

First comes imitation, then influence, then developing your own style.  Learning to be an artist is an interesting experience.

I know this is just the way he influences me, I am sure other people find he influences them in different ways, if so, then please comment and let other people know as well.  I would enjoy hearing them as well.

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