Take three artists: Pedro Almodóvar, one of the few talented filmmakers of his generation; Siri Hustvedt, Paul Auster’s wife and an extraordinary writer; Robert Mapplethorpe, known for his photography as well as for his relationship with Patti Smith. The result is that the filmmaker plays the curator, while the writer becomes the critic/poet of a photography exhibition – namely Robert Mapplethorpe. Almodóvar’s gaze, which took place in Madrid last June at the gallery Elvira González.
The exhibition’s catalogue has just been published by La Fábrica Editorial, with an essay by Hustvedt comparing and distinguishing Mapplethorpe and Almodóvar. The two artists had met in Madrid in the Eighties, and Almodóvar was deeply influenced by the photographer’s work. The album is a synthesis of both Mapplethorpe’s work (with thirty-one black and white images taken between 1976 and 1989, carefully selected by Almodóvar) and the vision of three artists working with different mediums but equal talent.
Beyond the aesthetics that the book present us (Mapplethorpe’s study of the human body, his compositions, Mapplethorpe’s and Almodóvar’s contributions to the gay movement of the Eighties), what moves us even more is the concept of a fusion of three arts that has nothing of a Gesamtkunstwerk but is rather a ‘democratic’ collaboration. Within the often selfish worlds of both publishing and art, it is a refreshing sign.
It is not a coffee-table book: it is something more personal, that, we hope, might inspire you, move your brain and end up in the stack of books of a bedroom rather than on an impersonal display between fancy monographs and expensive – yet vapid – publications.
You can buy it from La Fabrica Editorial, 24 x 29 cm. Spanish-English. 72 pages.
ISBN: 978-84-15303-58-9, 35 €
Images courtesy of La Fábrica Editorial.Leave a Comment