Black Book [Inscribed to Ken Moody]. LGBTQ – ART, PHOTOGRAPHY, Robert MAPPLETHORPE, Ntozake SHANGE, photographs, foreword.

Black Book [Inscribed to Ken Moody]

New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. First Edition. Distinguished copy of one of Mapplethorpe's most astonishing and controversial works, a full-length photographic study of black male nudes - an erotic fixation Mapplethorpe developed later in his life. Black Book is comprised of 91 images of male models, many of whom he had intimate, personal relationships with, including his lover Jack Walls. Ken Moody, the recipient of this copy, was a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and fitness instructor at a gay-owned gym in New York, when he was connected with Mapplethorpe through a mutual friend. "I met him at his studio at 24 Bond Street and we started shooting immediately. He asked me to take off my shirt and I sat in front of the camera. It was then that he produced one of the most perfect photographs that we ever took together...When we met, nothing struck me as odd or terribly different or even exceptional about Robert. He just seemed like a nice white man, although he was very quiet. He was very, very professional, and I believe that's probably because I fell outside the category of man that he was attracted to. I knew what his tastes were, and I also knew that I was not that...Robert and I shot together over three years - 1983, '84 and '85. I reckon we did it 12 times in each of those years, maybe a bit less. I remember reading on the internet that I was his most-photographed subject...I didn't think it was exceptional at the time, I had no idea. I just assumed that, when a photographer found a subject that they liked, they would work with them a lot. I knew that there was chemistry between us. I knew that from the first day. I could always tell when I have chemistry with a photographer, and with Robert, I knew immediately that he was going to produce incredible photographs" (Stansfield, Ted. "Being Mapplethorpe's Muse." Another Man. October 27, 2017.). Moody appears in Black Book on pp.84-91, more than any other model; the photographs of him are among the most celebrated examples of Mapplethorpe's work. The volume contains a brief, moving foreword by the late poet Ntozake Shange, along with the full text of her poem "irrepressibly bronze, beautiful & mine." First Printing. Square quarto (29.25cm); full black cloth, with titles stamped in silver on spine; dustjacket; [14],91,[4]pp; illus. Inscribed by Mapplethorpe on the front endpaper to model Ken Moody: "For Ken - one of my favorite models - Thank you, Robert Mapplethorpe '87." Some trivial wear along lower board edges, else Fine. Dustjacket is unclipped (priced $40.00), with some mild wear and a single closed tear along lower edge of front panel; Near Fine.

Price: $3,500.00

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