An Unexpected Dialogue: Mapplethorpe and Rodin

By Christopher Harrity

Originally published on Advocate.com April 21 2014 5:04 AM ET

Robert Mapplethorpe said he could “see things like they were sculptures. It depends on how that form exists within the space.” So the Musée Rodin's comparison of his photographs to the work of Auguste Rodin is unexpected but perhaps on to something.

The exhibit includes 50 sculptures by Rodin and 102 photographs on loan from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Looking at them side by side reveals shared themes: movement and tension, light and shadow, eroticism, and damnation.

Mapplethorpe was gay; Rodin was straight. But in the exquisite staged perfection of Mapplethorpe's photography and the raw brutality of Rodin's sculpture we are introduced to a common, sensual perspective on both men and women.

Mapplethorpe-Rodin
Now through September 21, Musée Rodin, Paris
See more at: Musee-Rodin.fr