Robert Mapplethorpe The Outsiders

Olga Korper Gallery ⁠ accessible_forward

Olga Korper Gallery’s eighth solo exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, The Outsiders, investigates the relevance of Mapplethorpe’s photographs in the current political climate. The nostalgic resurgence of 1980s pop culture in the last few years has brought the return of classic characters—the rebel, the rocker, the outsider, the female bodybuilder, the male dancer—embodying the fluidity of identity beyond gender, pushing back relentlessly against the status quo. The Outsiders explores strength and vulnerability beyond political opinion, personal definition, and public expression. Addressing preconceived rules about what it means to be male, to be female, and to belong—both within the body and within society—The Outsiders seeks out androgyny, finding comfort in the heroes of the past, and courage in how we define our future. Thirty years later, Mapplethorpe’s photographs are as current as they were the day he snapped the shutter; still holding up a mirror to contemporary issues of sex and gender in a world once again rife with changing conceptions of meaning, appearance, and acceptance.