Wednesday 23rd March

| BY Jack Moss

The Book: Mapplethorpe Flora, The Complete Flowers


If, like me, you are supremely lazy when it comes to looking after your foliage (not an innuendo, unfortunately) and any flowers that find themselves in your abode end up rotting in their own filth three weeks later because it’s really just too much, too much effort indeed, to actually just put them in the bin, then I have the answer. A book – Mapplethorpe Flora – a collection of the legendary Robert Mapplethorpe’s “flower photographs”, nearly 300 works that chart his fascination with the world of botanics – flowers that will forever be fresh, blooming always upon your coffee table.

According to the press release (the key points handily highlighted for me by our intern, Sabrina – thanks Sabs!) Mapplethorpe learnt all he needed to know about light and exposure by photographing the flower arrangements at pals houses in his yoof. And, whilst Mapplethorpe may be known for his more let’s say, risque, images, there’s something sensual about these buds too – “under Mapplethorpe’s gaze, flowers could appear beautiful, decadent, dark and erotic,” say the notes more eloquently than I.

Mapplethorpe 2

The book, published by Phaidon and out this March also features an essay by art director Dimitri Levas, a close friend of Mapplethorpe, and coincides with a retrospective of the artist’s work at LACMA, as well as the upcoming HBO documentary about his life. So, with that, his legend lives on. Thank God.

Mapplethorpe Flora: The Complete Flowers is published by Phaidon, £125, out now