I’ve written in yesterdays post about ‘Just Kids’ the recently published book by
Patti Smith in which she talks about her relationship with the artist
Robert Mapplethorpe, it’s a really good book and rightly deserves the
huge (and highly favourable) review from Edmund White in The Guardian
In it she writes about having her picture taken, by Mapplethorpe,
for the cover of her debut album, ‘Horses’. It’s an image that
established Patti as an icon and one that I’m sure you all know as
well as I. It’s quite something to be taken by her into that room, on
that afternoon, when that famous photograph was taken, and what she
writes is pure poetry. I found it incredibly touching;
The clouds kept moving back and forth. Something happened with his
light meter and he became slightly agitated. He took a few shots. He
abandoned the light meter. A cloud went by and the triangle
dissapeared. He said, “you know, I really like the whiteness of the
shirt. Can you take your jacket off?“
I flung my jacket over my shoulder, Frank Sinatra style. I was full of
references. He was full of light and shadow.
“It’s back, ” he said.
He took a few more shots.
“I got it.“
“How do you know?“
“I just know.“
He took twelve pictures that day.
Within a few days he showed me the contact sheet. “This one has the
magic,” he said.
Whenever I look at it now , I never see me, I see us.