First printing of arguably Mapplethorpe's most defining and controversial book — inscribed by Mapplethorpe to the most photographed model in the collection, Ken Moody.
Near fine in a near fine jacket.
"I knew that there was chemistry between us. I knew that from the first day. I could always tell when I have chemistry with a photographer, and with Robert I knew immediately that he was going to produce incredible photographs." — Ken Moody
Based on his 1986 solo exhibition "Black Males," Mapplethorpe's BLACK BOOK, a collection of 96 stylized erotic nudes of Black men, was almost immediately divisive — equally praised for its technical beauty (which included platinum prints richly executed on watercolor paper) and criticized as exploitive, objectifying, and othering. As such, this inscription and association is especially significant. Because Moody — a fitness instructor at the gay-owned gym where Mapplethorpe was a member — was not a passive or uncritical subject. Familiar and uncomfortable with of many of the photographer's earlier black male nudes (perhaps especially Mapplethorpe's notorious "Man in Polyester Suit"), Moody was careful to set the terms (including no full-frontal nudity) of what became essentially a years-long collaboration. The results were that Moody was not only the most photographed subject in this collection (indeed the book culminates in his images), but reportedly the most photographed model in Mapplethorpe's entire oeuvre. A major association of an important work.
Read more: Patricia Morrisroe, Mapplethorpe, 290; Ted Stansfield, "Being Mapplethorpe's Muse," Another Man.
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. 11.25'' x 11'. Original full black cloth. In original unclipped ($40.00) photographic dust jacket. 96 pages. With an introduction by Ntozake Shange. Inscribed by Mapplethorpe on front free endpaper: "For Ken — / one of my favorite models — / Thank you, Robert Mapplethorpe / '87." Some mild shelfwear to bottom edge of cloth. Single small closed tear to lower front panel of jacket; faint rubbing overall. Else clean and bright.
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