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In 1989, on the floor of Congress, Senator Jesse Helms implored America to "Look at the pictures," while denouncing the controversial art of Robert Mapplethorpe, whose photographs pushed social boundaries with their frank depictions of nudity, sexuality and fetishism – and ignited a culture war that rages to this day. More than 25 years later, the HBO Documentary Films presentation Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures does just that, taking an unflinching, unprecedented look at Mapplethorpe's most provocative work. From acclaimed filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Inside Deep Throat; HBO's Wishful Drinking and The Eyes of Tammy Faye), and produced by Katharina Otto-Bernstein (Absolute Wilson), the film is the first feature-length documentary about the artist since his death from AIDS in 1989 (at age 42), and is the most comprehensive film on Mapplethorpe ever made. The film goes inside preparations for two landmark Mapplethorpe retrospectives, at The J. Paul Getty Museum and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), utilizing the exhibitions as a jumping-off point to tell the complete story of Mapplethorpe's life and work, and to explore the interplay between his personal and professional lives. A fresh, fascinating and candid look at an iconic and divisive figure, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures shines a light on a controversial artist who helped turn contemporary photography into a fine art.

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Released by Warner Bros. Archive. See more credits.

 

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