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Robert Mapplethorpe at J. Paul Getty Museum

“He was the artist of my life,” wrote Patti Smith. For the rest of us, Robert Mapplethorpe was the photographer behind her iconic Horses album cover, the boy who broke the rules and a multifaceted master of his craft – whether capturing a delicate floret or an erotic embrace. From initiatory musings in the early 70s to the last images he was destined to capture in the late 80s, Mapplethorpe has established an extensive oeuvre, fuelled by a pervasive search for “perfection in form”. A large collection of the visual artist’s work is now showing via two complimentary presentations in Los Angeles. Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium will be on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through July 31.