Patti Smith/Robert Mapplethorpe; “Reorder, Reinvent, Create”

“Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand”. Patti Smith

 Patricia Lee “Patti” Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album ‘Horses’.

 

 “I came into music because I thought the presentation of poetry wasn’t vibrant enough. So I merged improvised poetry with basic rock chords”. Patti Smith

 “In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth”. Patti Smith

 She was called the “Godmother of Punk”, her work was a fusion of rock and poetry.

 “To me, punk rock is the freedom to create, freedom to be successful, freedom to not be successful, freedom to be who you are. It’s freedom”. Patti Smith

 Smith’s most widely known song is “Because the Night”, which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978

 Patti had a strong religious upbringing and a Bible education, but left organized religion as a teenager because she felt it was too confining; much later, she wrote the line “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” in her cover version of Them’s “Gloria” in response to this experience.

 She has described having an avid interest in Tibetan Buddhism around the age of eleven or twelve, saying “I fell in love with Tibet because their essential mission was to keep a continual stream of prayer,” but that as an adult she sees clear parallels between different forms of religion, and has come to the conclusion that religious dogmas are “…man-made laws that you can either decide to abide by or not.”

 I see it all before me:

the days of love and torment;

the nights of rock-and-roll.

I see it all before me.

Sometimes my spirit’s empty;

don’t have the will to go on.

I wish someone would send me

energy.

 

Give me something.

Give me something to give.

Oh, God, give me something:

a reason to live.

My body is aching.

Don’t want sympathy.

Come on. Come and love me.

Come on. Set me free.

Set me free.

 

The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul.

He leadeth me through the path of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.

 

Hey, Lord, I’m waitin’ for you.

Oh, God, I’m waitin’ for you;

waitin’ to open Your ninety-eight wounds

and be Thee, be Thee.

Lead me, oh, lead me.

 

Leave me something.

Leave me something to live.

Oh, God, give me something:

a reason to live.

I don’t want no handout;

no, not sympathy.

Come on. Come and love me.

Come on. Set me free.

Set me free.

Come on. Set me free

Set me free . . .

 

Oh, I’m so young, so goddamn young.

Oh, I’m so young, so goddamn young.

Oh, I’m so young, so goddamn.

Set me free.

 

In the presence of my enemies,

Thou anointest my head with oil.

My cup runneth over.

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life.

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Ah, damn, goddamn, goddamn, goddamn.

Here I am.

 “We tried not to age, but time had its rage”. Patti Smith

 

 “What I really like is an intelligent review. It doesn’t have to be positive. A review that has some kind of insight, and sometimes people say something that’s startling or is so poignant”. Patti Smith

 

 “Usually when I go to a place for the first time, unless there’s something historical or spectacular that nature has to offer, the first thing I like to do is see what’s on the minds of the people”. Patti Smith

 

 Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe in New York, 1970

 Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 as the third of six children and spent a comfortable childhood on Long Island. After studying painting at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and his first sculptures, Mapplethorpe turned to photography. At first, the artist created collages from old photographs, taken from magazines or books.

This early interest in photography reflects the increasing influence photography had on the art of the time, as admired by Robert Mapplethorpe in Andy Warhol’s works.

 In 1970 he moved to the Chelsea Hotel together with Patti Smith. “Just Kids”

 “Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe weren’t always famous, but they always thought they would be. They found each other, adrift but determined, on the streets of New York City in the late ’60s and made a pact to keep each other afloat until they found their voices–or the world was ready to hear them. Lovers first and then friends as Mapplethorpe discovered he was gay, they divided their dimes between art supplies and Coney Island hot dogs. Mapplethorpe was quicker to find his metier, with a Polaroid and then a Hasselblad, but Smith was the first to fame, transformed, to her friend’s delight, from a poet into a rock star. (Mapplethorpe soon became famous too–and notorious–before his death from AIDS in 1989.) Smith’s memoir of their friendship, Just Kids, is tender and artful, open-eyed but surprisingly decorous, with the oracular style familiar from her anthems like “Because the Night,” “Gloria,” and “Dancing Barefoot” balanced by her powers of observation and memory for everyday details like the price of automat sandwiches and the shabby, welcoming fellow bohemians of the Chelsea Hotel, among whose ranks these baby Rimbauds found their way“. –Tom Nissley

 In 1972 Mapplethorpe finally began to take his own photographs using a polaroid camera. His initial intention was to incorporate these photographs in his paintings.

Mapplethorpe’s first polaroids were self-portraits and protraits of his friends. Only in the mid 1970s does photography as an artistic medium move into the center of his works. He produced comprehensive series of photographs, showing artists, celebrities, porn stars and members of the SM-scene.

 

Robert Mapplethorpe – Deborah Harry, 1978

 With this so-called “brutalic chic”, Robert Mapplethorpe hit the prevailing trend of the 1980s. The conservatives were up in arms, while the Avant-garde celebrate Mapplethorpe’s work as art. Furthermore, Mapplethorpe’s works from the early 1980s were enriched by a closer look at classical beauty, during this time he created his artistic nude photographs, sensual flower still lives and portraits of artists.  The artist’s oeuvre is inextricably linked with the terms sex and excess, lust and dominance, making him one of the most controversial and one of the greatest photographers of our time.

 Since the mid 1970s Robert Mapplethorpe’s work has been shown at numerous solo and group exhibitions, including “documenta 6” in 1977.

 “I really believe that ­Robert sought not to destroy order, but to reorder, to reinvent, and to create a new order. I know that he always wanted to do something that no one else had done. That was very important to him”.—Patti Smith

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3 comentarios to “Patti Smith/Robert Mapplethorpe; “Reorder, Reinvent, Create””

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