Robert Mapplethorp with the kids

23 Jan

For those of you who are familiar with the famous photographer Robert Mapplethorp you’ll be surprised to hear that we took our three young children to see one of his exhibits last week-end.  And I must admit there were a few photographs that were very explicit (if you get my drift).  We’ve been taking our children to all sorts of art exhibits and shows since they were months old.  Most have been thoroughly enjoyed and a few a bit less (I remember one Paul McCarthy exhibit in Milan where we had to carry out a few of the kids in tears).  Some people disagree with exposing kids to topics that are out of the average comfort zone.  We decided long ago to expose them to a wide range of different artists and types of art.  We find our kids don’t register or even really see the stuff they’re not ready for.  And the animated conversations we’ve had with our kids after these exhibits have been amazingly interesting. 

The kids have been refering to this art show as “the penis exhibit” due to…well….the hundreds of photos of penises.  But there were also Mapplethorp’s beautiful flower portraits (also quite erotic but the kids don’t see that).  If interested the show is on at Fondazione Forma in Milan until April 2nd.  Go on…take the kids as well!

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5 Responses to “Robert Mapplethorp with the kids”

  1. deeja111 January 23, 2012 at 21:35 #

    Oh I looked at Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos for an art project of mine a while back and despite the explicit nature of the pictures, you can’t argue with how amazing his pictures are. I loved the contrast he creates despite using only greyscale in his photos. I can’t wait to go for his exhibition one day!

    • jc January 24, 2012 at 14:16 #

      It’s definitely worth going to one of his exhibitions. And you’re right about photos being amazing. Technically speaking they are absolutely perfect. His series of portraits of “famous” people is also very candid and down to earth. And you can’t deny the fact that he loved the male body and photographed it with a lot of passion.

  2. GrammaO January 24, 2012 at 02:37 #

    Not only do they not see what are not ready for but you, as parents, are ready to discuss whatever they do see and talk about want to.

  3. Jen February 1, 2012 at 16:24 #

    Ha! The penis show. I’m pretty sure that’s how my kids would refer to it as well. My husband and I pretty much share your philosophy on taking the kids to exhibits. I agree that they inspire some of the best conversations after wards.

    I love that I ran across this post! I think, and I don’t want to be overstepping my bounds here, we may be kindred spirits. Here’s an experience I had with photography, censorship, Mapplethorpe and giving my kids a camera http://www.classic-play.com/give-a-kid-a-camera/

    • jc February 1, 2012 at 20:50 #

      Hi Jen. Kindred spirits indeed! I have to say that I really love the toilet shot your son took. And it was so clean! I love to hear of other families who have the same philosophy on children and art exhibits. I think it opens their minds and let’s them contemplate so many different areas of life (I’m just hoping they don’t come back later in life saying all these exhibits traumatised them!). Thanks for visiting!

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