The Picture / The Story

Norman Seeff

05/12/2016

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith, New York, 1969 "Robert & Patti Classic"

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith, New York, 1969 "Robert & Patti Classic"

All Portraits Above Are Available As

Archival Pigment Print, Combined Edition of 50
Signed, titled, dated, numbered verso

15 x 22 inches

28 x 42 inches

40 x 60 inches 

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith, New York, 1969, "Patti with Cigarette"

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith, New York, 1969, "Patti with Cigarette"

 

All Portraits Above Are Available As

Archival Pigment Print, Combined Edition of 50
Signed, titled, dated, numbered verso

15 x 22 inches

28 x 42 inches

40 x 60 inches 

Robert Mapplethorpe, New York, 1970 "Robert II"

 

Robert Mapplethorpe, New York, 1970 "Robert II"

All Portraits Above Are Available As

Archival Pigment Print, Combined Edition of 50
Signed, titled, dated, numbered verso

15 x 22 inches

28 x 42 inches

40 x 60 inches 

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith II, New York, 1969

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith II, New York, 1969

All Portraits Above Are Available As

Archival Pigment Print, Combined Edition of 50
Signed, titled, dated, numbered verso

15 x 22 inches

28 x 42 inches

40 x 60 inches 

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith,  New York, 1969

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, 
New York, 1969

 

All Portraits Above Are Available As

Archival Pigment Print, Combined Edition of 50
Signed, titled, dated, numbered verso

15 x 22 inches

28 x 42 inches

40 x 60 inches 

Norman Seeff, Patti Smith, New York, 1969

Norman Seeff, Patti Smith, New York, 1969

All Portraits Above Are Available As

Archival Pigment Print, Combined Edition of 50
Signed, titled, dated, numbered verso

15 x 22 inches

28 x 42 inches

40 x 60 inches 

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe, New York, 1969

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe, New York, 1969

All Portraits Above Are Available As

Archival Pigment Print, Combined Edition of 50
Signed, titled, dated, numbered verso

15 x 22 inches

28 x 42 inches

40 x 60 inches 

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith, New York, 1969 "Robert & Patti II"

 

 

Norman Seeff, Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith, New York, 1969 "Robert & Patti II"

All Portraits Above Are Available As

Archival Pigment Print, Combined Edition of 50
Signed, titled, dated, numbered verso

15 x 22 inches

28 x 42 inches

40 x 60 inches 

 

THE PICTURE | THE STORY

I have always collected portraits of artists. My reasons are quite simple-- I have a curiosity to see how artists present themselves in front of a camera. Creative people exude an indefinable presence and often project a striking persona. For me, portraits of artists are inspirational, historically relevant, and often time speak to the spirit of their own work.

Norman Seeff photographed Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith in 1969, during their formative years together. Seeff's photographs were taken in New York City, one year before Mapplethorpe began making his own photographs with a Polaroid camera, and four years before Mapplethorpe's first solo exhibition at Light Gallery in New York City. After college in 1967, Patti Smith moved to New York. She met Mapplethorpe, and they lived together at the Chelsea Hotel. Robert's photographs of Patti appeared on the covers of her albums. They became romantically involved at a time before Mapplethorpe completely confronted his sexuality. In her book, Just Kids, Patti Smith referred to Mapplethorpe as the "artist of my life". Norman Seeff's photographs capture the end of their romantic relationship, and the beginning of their relationship as artists.

I included below a few more portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith. Mapplethorpe's dual exhibitions, The Perfect Medium, opened concurrently last month, at LACMA and the J. Paul Getty Museum. 

David Fahey
Fahey/Klein Gallery