Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
October 4, 2011
In cataloguing the relationship between art collector Sam Wagstaff and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, the documentary "Black White and Gray" does a good job of showing the role of the collector in the art world, especially Wagstaff who was very influential in shaping tastes, especially in the realm of photography. The emphasis is more on Wagstaff which is okay since so much has already been written about Mapplethorpe. Strangely enough on the subject of Mapplethorpe's photgraphy, the movie is oddly timid, going around in circles in desperately avoiding to admit the eroticism of the photographs. The same could be said about the details of the relationship.(Luckily, Patti Smith is on hand to fill in the blanks of how unique it was, with her actually being an equal partner.) Yes, it is possible that Mapplethorpe used Wagstaff but if that's the case, then I would agree that Wagstaff also used him, as like any relationship both partners had a profound effect on each other and on the wider art world.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
October 4, 2011
In cataloguing the relationship between art collector Sam Wagstaff and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, the documentary "Black White and Gray" does a good job of showing the role of the collector in the art world, especially Wagstaff who was very influential in shaping tastes, especially in the realm of photography. The emphasis is more on Wagstaff which is okay since so much has already been written about Mapplethorpe. Strangely enough on the subject of Mapplethorpe's photgraphy, the movie is oddly timid, going around in circles in desperately avoiding to admit the eroticism of the photographs. The same could be said about the details of the relationship.(Luckily, Patti Smith is on hand to fill in the blanks of how unique it was, with her actually being an equal partner.) Yes, it is possible that Mapplethorpe used Wagstaff but if that's the case, then I would agree that Wagstaff also used him, as like any relationship both partners had a profound effect on each other and on the wider art world.
½ October 25, 2010
Loved it. Glad I wasn't gay in 1980's NY. I wouldn't be here.
Page 1 of 2