Poppy, 1988 by Robert Mapplethorpe

I don’t find all of Mapplethorpe’s work to my taste, but I do love all his flower photographs.

One of my favourites is Poppy 1988 (which is number 10 on this link).

The positioning of the flowers is intriguing with the intertwined stems. The curves of the stems and shape of the flower give a sense of movement in the photograph. The colour of the poppy is vivid, especially against the black background, but somehow maybe not entirely natural?

The lighting of the shot is fascinating. The poppy flower is fully lit from above left, the intertwined stems seem to be lit from almost straight on, but the flower bud is relatively dark, perhaps signifying that it has yet to blossom?

To me, the overall effect is very evocative and quite erotic.

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