Robert Mapplethorpe: An Overview
Up until now, the hallmark CD-ROMs from Digital Collections, Inc. has been superb quality reproductions of works of art, presented in a straightforward database with many ways to search and assemble the stills. This was terrific for those pursuing scholarly study, but not very engaging for those with a less academic goal. Now, happily, Robert Mapplethorpe: An Overview will satisfy both groups of viewers. If you just want to browse the 476 prints that are included here, choose “The Collection,” with a slew of options that goes beyond the traditional zoom-in and zoom-out found in many art discs. Peruse each exquisitely reproduced photograph one at a time or, using the Thumbnail feature, look at groups of photos in reduced size – they’re arranged by categories like “Self Portraits,” “Flowers,” and “Celebrity Photos.” Examine a text list of the photographs, or read text background concerning each piece. Sort, search, and compare your favorites before assembling your own slide show. If you want to learn more about the man, and the art, go to “Introduction,” a very well done multimedia presentation. Examples of Mapplethorpe’s work illustrate the development of his career, his influences, and his interest in particular subjects, while interviews with the artist as well as with Susan Sontag, Michael Stout (lawyer for the Mapplethorpe Foundation), and others enlarge on the narrated script.
– November 1995, Art