“The one thing people fear the most is the penis — the black man’s penis.” Robert Mapplethorpe’s Controversial ‘Man in Polyester Suit’ Photo sold for $478,000 in 2015?, the rewards of promoting homosexuality. The image was part of Mapplethorpe’s “X Portfolio” series, which North Carolina senator Jesse Helms attacked in 1989 for its graphic depictions of same-sex relationships and bondage. The Southern politician was offended that the racy photograph had originally received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was known for his blunt and unabashedly honest photographs. Highly stylized black and white photos of male and female nudes, the S&M scene, self-portraiture, celebrity portraits, flowers and statuary were among his most common subjects.
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