Thursday 31st December

| BY Jack Moss

Robert Mapplethorpe at The Bowes Museum


More cultural-based fodder to feed your hungry New Years appetites – well, for those oop north, at least – The Bowes Museum in Durham is displaying a collection of major works by American photog Robbert Mapplethorpe. Now, we must say our main dealings with Mapplethorpe have been on the more “artful porn” side of the proceedings (or as the museum politely describe, that “unique combination of beauty and salaciousness.”) – I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a black-and-white shot of a well-endowed gent? But this exhibition, entitled “The Magic in the Muse” focusses more on his more PG-portraiture – from Iggy Pop and Andy Warhol to David Hockney and Patti Smith. Which are really just as good. But, for those still looking for something a bit more, “racy”, let’s say – there is the Antony’s Instagram-endorsed portrait of a scantily-clad Arnold Schwarzenegger. In Mr Miles’ words – #gay #muscle #bodybuilder. All good things, we assure you. It is possibly worth a trip north of Manchester to enjoy. Possibly.

Robert Mapplethorpe, The Magic in the Muse runs until 24 April 2016 at The Bowes Museum, County Durham

Photograph: Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait (1980) courtesy of The Bowes Museum