Polaroids: Mapplethorpe ends 1/31/10 at the Henry. Patti Smith reads at Benaroya Hall for Seattle Arts and Lectures in less than a week.
This post urges you to see the exhibition, and hear her read and perform next week. These work of these two artists is remakably intertwined.
From last week’s New York Magazine feature about Smith’s new memoir, Just Kids, an article titled Remembrances of the Punk Prose Poetess:
She arrived from South Jersey nearly a decade earlier with $32 and a copy of Rimbaud’s Illuminations in her plaid suitcase, sleeping on subways and in parks until she met the artist Robert Mapplethorpe, a Floral Park altar boy and Pratt student who became her first boyfriend. “I never expected that this modest shepherd-boy fella would one day wear gold lamé with a codpiece,” says Smith, in her unrepentantly thick Jersey accent. “But who would think a Holden Caulfield of a girl would end up fronting a rock-and-roll band? Read more.
Just Kids captures a moment when Ms. Smith and Mapplethorpe were young, inseparable, perfectly bohemian and completely unknown, to the point in which a touristy couple in Washington Square Park spied them in the early autumn of 1967 and argued about whether they were worth a snapshot. The woman thought they looked like artists. The man disagreed, saying dismissively, “They’re just kids.”
In her review, Maslin also points out that much of Just Kids unfolds before Mapplethorpe did the taboo-busting, shock-laden photographic work for which he is best remembered. This is also the period of time when the ninety pictures in Polaroids: Mapplethorpe were being created. Mapplethorpe’s mature work was preceded by a largely unknown body of over 1,500 photographs made with Polaroid materials, which spans the six-year period from 1970 to 1975.
Henry members get 15% off advance tickets for Smith’s performance, call SAL’s Box Office at 206.621.2230 for your tickets! Not a Henry member? If you’re attending Seattle Arts and Lecture’s event Monday – stop by our table and pick up a guest pass to visit the museum.