Portraits are often some of the most powerful records of people and moments in time left behind in the history of art. Many artists have immortalised themselves or more accurately created the persona of the suffering artist or debonair society dandy. Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt – the list is endless for those that have used the portrait to great effect.
Robert Mapplethorpe can be viewed alongside these establishment icons, his body of photographic work is notorious for its explicit content which overshadows the actual quality of what he was doing. His self portraits were created at seminal points through his career – we find him initally represented as very much the 1980′s New York bohemian, right through to the harrowing final self-portrait about a year before his death.Follow @ispyer