Robert Mapplethorpe – Lisa Lyon –

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In 1980 Robert Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first World Women’s Body Building Champion.

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In 1980 Robert Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first World Women’s Body Building Champion. For the next few years they would collaborate several times creating various portraits and figure studies included both full and fragmented body images. This series of collaborations, which saw Lyon take on multiple guises and ‘types’ of women would result in Mapplethorpe’s book ‘Lady: Lisa Lyon’ (1983). Writing in the book’s introduction, the British writer Bruce Chatwin stated of Mapplethorpe that “his eye for a body is that of a classical sculpture in search of an ‘ideal.’” In this photograph Lyon evokes Christ’s crucifixion – the cross is a symbol which would appear in Mapplethorpe’s work throughout his career and many of his sculptures were in the shape of a cross.

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