Professor James Elias
I visited the Getty Museum located in Los Angeles, California between the hours of 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm. There was a restaurant on site however, I did not eat there. While reviewing the artwork, I was intrigued with several paintings of the XYZ collection from Robert Mapplethorpe. The Leatherman #1 In 1970, Robert Mapplethorpe gave this piece of art as a partial gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation with partial funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. The art reminded me of the YMCA song, which a gay rock group of men recorded in the early 80’s. Some of them were dressed as police officers, construction workers, railroad engineers etc. Robert Mapplethrope got the art from a magazine to create collages of sexuality and eroticism. He described it and presented it as a symbol of religion significance, the figure and metal screens representing confessions in Roman Catholic churches. Another picture caught my eye of a nude male figure, which is presented by Mapplethrope in 1994, an art selection of male nudity when male nudity was not yet popular on the art scene. Mapplethrope describe the picture as a male body in a taut compressed energy with his muscle limbs bent as seen on ancient Greek figure vases. In 1972 Mapplethorpe met John McKendry, who gave him a Polaroid camera, and Samuel Wagstaff Jr., who became his lover and mentor. By the 1970’s Mapplethorpe began documenting New York’s gay S&M if one of his earliest celebrity portraits.
He produced a cover portrait of Patti Smith for her 1975 rock album with her dressed in men clothes, jacket slung over her shoulder, uncombed hair and having a look of both male and female. This created look broke the image that the music industry expected women in rock to assume.
Another picture art exhibit I liked was called Nudes. It’s a picture of one female and two male models, all from different racial background to create a range of skin tones from the light to dark which defines a interpretation of gender, race and sexual preference. Mapplethope purposely excluded their head from the picture and focused on their conjoined bodies. From this selection of art he created an elegant study of form and tone. The picture depicts the ancient Greeks of the Three Graces in the nineteenth century. This selection leaves my imagination running wild on how women liberation started. Mapplethorpe was one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century. He was highly noted for his explorations for gender, race and sexuality. Mapplethorpe’s own self-portrait was another way for self-expression. His portrait suggests powerful awareness of the vulnerable position in the face of the AIDS crisis. Mapplethorpe died at age forty-two from complications of AIDS. Before his death, he established a foundation to support what he believed in, such as art programs and HIV and AIDS prevention care.
The main argument against homosexuality is that it is “unnatural” or “out of the ordinary.” To many people homosexuality is a willful choice. Some may think it is due to psychological damage. But to the homosexuals themselves, it is neither a choice, nor a disease. It is an identity. To them, homosexuality is not just a behavior; it is a part of who they are. They want to be accepted for who they are, not for what they are. My view is that homosexuality can either be accepted or rejected. In essence, to me, homosexuality is a choice. But acceptance will only come when psychology and biology can prove to the world homosexuality is not a choice and never was. It is difficult to cite accurate figures but at the same time it is likely that numbers of men who have been attracted to same sex, or have experimented along those lines is much larger than one seem to think. One could argue, however, that despite the mainstream nature of heterosexuality throughout English history, some degree of