“Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry and Light,” is the latest exhibition at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Curated by Dr. Carol Ockman, Selby’s curator-at-large, this show explores the importance of nature in Mapplethorpe and Smith’s art. While making that connection, this show also recreates Mapplethorpe’s photography with living art vignettes.
The result is a savvy investigation of their artistic processes that doesn’t ignore the artists themselves. Smith and Mapplethorpe’s work was highly personal. To understand it, you need to know who they were (and are).
The late Mapplethorpe made a name for himself with his often transgressive,