culture

culture

Seeing Robert Mapplethorpe’s idea of perfection in a new retrospective

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Artist Robert Mapplethorpe found himself at the center of the culture wars of the 1980s and ‘90s for his best-known work, homoerotic and often explicit photographs that drew the ire of federal lawmakers. Now two major Los Angeles museums have mounted a retrospective of his work, asking viewers to take another look. Jeffrey Brown examines the artist’s life and legacy.