Flexing their curatorial muscle, Scissor Sisters have teamed up with London gallery Alison Jacques to mount an exhibition of hand-picked Mapplethorpe photographs, one of which (this 1980 photograph of Peter Reed’s clenched derrière) also served as the band’s latest cover art. But this is no act of self-promotion—though that never hurts—but a timely homage to the Mapplethorpe legacy, which outlived the last days of disco to venture into some sinister terrain. Here, however, Mapplethorpe’s sculptural portraits serve as a sinewy point of departure, as the show gathers a wide range of contemporary artists, including a number of our faves, who continue to be captivated by his dark visions. Highlights includes stage-inspired sculptures by bad-boy-gone-good, Banks Violette, the dreamy pastels of Scott Treleaven and the inexhaustible musculature of art’s favorite jock, Matthew Barney.
Robert Mapplethorpe: Night Work, January 19 – March 19
(On a side note, we highly recommend Patti Smith’s award-winning new book, Just Kids, about the early days of her mythical friendship with Mapplethorpe.)