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Mapplethorpe, Robert (Photographer) & Sontag, Susan (Contributor). ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE: CERTAIN PEOPLE: A BOOK OF PORTRAITS. Santa Fe, NM: Twelvetrees Press, 1985. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 100 pages. Fine/Fine.

Landmark collection of portrait-photographs. The last major book published in Mapplethorpe's lifetime. The First Limited Edition of 5000 copies. Precedes and should not be confused with the Second and Third Limited Editions. An austerely elegant production by Dmitri Levas and Jack Woody: Oversize-volume format. Blue cloth boards with black titles embossed on cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe. Essay by Susan Sontag, who is one of the portrait-subjects, and whose essay, "Certain Mapplethorpes", remains one of the definitive pieces on the photographer. Selected Individual Exhibitions, Selected Bibliography, and Selected Collections appended at the end. Printed in rich gravure by Heraclio Fournier in Vitoria, Spain to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ, which shows two iconic self-portraits, one in front and another on the back, and white titles on the spine, as issued. Presents Robert Mapplethorpe's "Certain People: A Book of Portraits", the single most beautiful collection of the photographer's portraiture. Like his great predecessors, Mapplethorpe sought out and succeeded in persuading some of the most celebrated names in literature, the arts, public life, and American popular culture to pose for him, often in ways that they haven't for other photographers. To be sure, these are flattering photographs, and they cannot be otherwise, because Mapplethorpe was deeply interested in both the physical beauty and undefinable aura ("charisma") that every subject naturally exudes. The photographs of Richard Gere and Bob Paris are among the best ever taken of the actor and champion bodybuilder, who were both also extensively photographed by Herb Ritts and many others. The photographs of Patti Smith remain the absolute best taken of her, ever. "What he looks for, which could be called form, is the quiddity or is-ness of something. Not the truth about something, but the strongest version of it. His work is about people found, coaxed, or arranged into a certainty about themselves. That is what seduces, that is what is disclosed in these bulletins of a great photographer's observations and encounters" (Susan Sontag). An absolute "must-have" title for Robert Mapplethorpe collectors. This title is a great photography book. This is one of very few copies of the First Limited Edition still available online and despite its slight imperfection (a publisher's flaw: one-inch scrape on the edge of the back endpaper) is still in especially fine condition: The DJ itself and every single internal page is clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Considering that there is a badly damaged copy online that sells for $2500 (it is also, to be fair, uniquely signed), this is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. Most other copies online are the Second and Third Editions. A rare copy thus. 62 sheetfed gravure plates. Robert Mapplethorpe's "Lady Lisa Lyon" (1983), "Black Book" (1986), and "Pictures" (1999) are regarded as three of the most important photography books of the 20th century. One of the most provocative and important photographers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0942642147. $200.00

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