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Who was Patti Smith's lover, Mapplethorpe?

Someone explain this to me. I'm reading Just Kids and love it, but something about this romance seems off. First, they both look alike and could be twins. Second, Mapplethrope is gay. So, how did that REALLY work?

She romanticizes him so much in the book, but I have to wonder what was going on in his mind.

She and Mapplethorpe had an intense romantic relationship, which was tumultuous as the pair struggled with poverty and Mapplethorpe's sexuality. Smith considers Mapplethorpe to be one of the most influential and important people in her life, and referred to him as "the artist of my life" in her book Just Kids.

I'm looking for the dirt and the tea beyond Just Kids. Anyone have it?

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by Anonymousreply 34May 26, 2023 1:57 AM

Smith’s immensely personal storytelling rectifies certain mistaken notions about the pair, revealing specifically that they were not wild-child drug addicts but dreamers, more human and loving than their cold, isolated stares and sharp, skinny bodies in early photos lead one to believe. Smith left New York for Detroit in 1979 to live with the man she would eventually marry, the late former MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, just as Mapplethorpe’s career as one of the most shocking and potent art photographers was reaching its apogee (his black-and-whites of gay hustlers, S&M acts, flowers, and children were headed to museum collections and a court trial for obscenity charges). By then Smith had already produced Horses and had risen to international fame. Her book follows Mapplethorpe all the way to his death in 1989 from complications due to AIDS, but it’s mostly about two kids who held on to each other.

by Anonymousreply 1May 24, 2023 11:35 PM

She sucks

by Anonymousreply 2May 24, 2023 11:37 PM

R2 Why? In what way?

by Anonymousreply 3May 24, 2023 11:39 PM

Just Kids is a really good book, very well written.

by Anonymousreply 4May 24, 2023 11:42 PM

Oh I thought it was so pretentious and grandiose.

by Anonymousreply 5May 24, 2023 11:47 PM

You can’t ride 2 horses with 1 ass

by Anonymousreply 6May 24, 2023 11:48 PM

She really is a horrible person. I hear the book is good, but I cannot bring myself to read it.

by Anonymousreply 7May 25, 2023 12:16 AM

Why is she horrible? What has she done?

by Anonymousreply 8May 25, 2023 12:17 AM

She treats people like shit. Her entitlement is huge so when she had an appointment, you try to make sure you are at lunch.

But here are two:

She would often climb speakers during concerts, but is legally blind and could not climb down. So the roadies would have to climb the speakers and pass her down, which of course was dangerous for them

She also argued against any public funding for the arts. She said that if artists work cannot make money in the commercial marketplace, they do not deserve support.

Even after her health started to decline she still kept the same shitty attitude.

by Anonymousreply 9May 25, 2023 12:39 AM

Wow, that sounds terrible R9. I'm especially disappointed to hear her opinions about public funding for the arts, especially since her memoir portrays her as a starving artist as a youth trying to trade paintings and drawings no one wanted for food and shelter when she needed help. She portrays herself as a friend to all artists, so charming and outgoing and free spirited and easy going in Just Kids, when she was given a free ride time after time while struggling as a visual artist with M. in NYC. What a shame!

by Anonymousreply 10May 25, 2023 12:46 AM

She got negative response to her statements against arts funding in an interview ten or 15 years ago. She has been quieter about it since.

by Anonymousreply 11May 25, 2023 12:59 AM


by Anonymousreply 12May 25, 2023 1:32 AM

Rip Her To Shreds!!!

by Anonymousreply 13May 25, 2023 1:37 AM

R5 “Bla bla Rimbaud bla bla Baudelaire bla bla Genet…”

Smith is not without talent, but really irritating and solipsistic. Legs McNeil’s book “Please Kill Me” has some passages about Smith during the early years of the punk scene in nyc. She comes off pretty rotten and self-interested and a little dishonest. The performance artist Penny Arcade discloses some interesting material about Smith, and Deborah Harry does, too. I remember Harry laughed about Patti Smith convincing Fred Smith to stay away from Blondie just before the band exploded with a string of hits.

Friends told me that they would see her perform on New Years Eve and felt that she openly disliked her audience, like Van Morrison.

I did enjoy her album Gung Ho and when I saw her perform that beautiful song titled Grateful on Candice Bergen’s talk show, I could see how she bagged Sam Shepherd. She had flashes of beauty and depth, but was probably more interested in fame than she was ever willing to admit. I really like the song “Glitter in Their Eyes” with amazing guitar work by Television’s Tom Verlaine (another romantic conquest of Smith’s, tall and talented like Shepherd).

She is an odd mix of talent and appeal but also pretentiousness and irascibleness. In the past decade, many feel she’s been wildly over-praised. That’s probably true.

by Anonymousreply 14May 25, 2023 2:20 AM

She was really in the center of the arts as a young person in NYC in the 1970s. Incredible luck or incredible savvy to run in that circle as an unknown. Also, she was no nepo baby and no rich girl. That's worth noting. She somehow forged so many valuable connections on her own. Clever, shrewd, or lucky?

by Anonymousreply 15May 25, 2023 3:13 AM

Both of them are massively overrated.

by Anonymousreply 16May 25, 2023 5:11 AM

I have no idea what she is like in real life, but in her books, she gives me the impression of someone who actively romanticizes her life and the people she admires. It's an interesting way to live.

The way she describes picking out an outfit, or placing objects in her room - you get the feeling these are her odd bits and pieces that are meaningful to her, but might look like junk to others. To her, they are magical.

She has the same attitude about people, almost poeticizing them even when they behave horribly, like Sam Shepherd leaving her suddenly. In a way, it's admirable, but on the other hand, it can sound like she's deluding herself and others. It's impressive and weird, like a strange way of manifesting your own legend - act like a living legend, and you will become one.

I wonder how those who refused to play along with her own bullshit got along with her? She probably did well in the artistic circles of New York city, despite not knowing anyone, because she fit right in. Most of them are up their own ass, and she played the same game.

by Anonymousreply 17May 25, 2023 5:37 AM

R9 I'm pretty sure you're confusing her with someone else. Patti Smith is not legally blind and doesn't have any significant health problems. And she's beloved by roadies and her bandmates.

by Anonymousreply 18May 25, 2023 6:00 AM

They liked Patti's book for nostalgic reasons, not because she and Mapplethorpe were massive talents. There was a lot people could project from themselves on that book, and Patti was the one with the contacts, connections, promoters, and situational placement to deliver it.

It takes a lot to rise above Warholesque socialization and create art that stands up over time. Mapplethorpe didn't, and Patti barely did, mostly thanks to Natalie Merchant's Unplugged cover being a smash hit.

by Anonymousreply 19May 25, 2023 9:45 AM

R19 I always wondered how Smith viewed Merchant’s 10,000 Maniacs’ cover of that song, the top “performing” version on the charts.

by Anonymousreply 20May 25, 2023 1:04 PM

[quote] She treats people like shit.

And now I'm dead.

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by Anonymousreply 21May 25, 2023 1:42 PM

Patti's work stands up over time because Horses is a brilliant album, r19, and because Because the Night and People Have the Power are great pop songs. Mapplethorpe's work is still pretty good. No one ever said he was a modern-day Raphael.

There's someone here with a chip on his shoulder about Patti.

by Anonymousreply 22May 25, 2023 2:51 PM

What a great artist Robert was!

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by Anonymousreply 23May 25, 2023 2:54 PM

Patti's best song is People have the Power. One of the few inspirational songs that doesn't come across as cheesy. The song has aged so well, I thought it was released in the early 00s and was surprised to find out it was actually released in the late 80s!

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by Anonymousreply 24May 25, 2023 2:59 PM

Fred Smith was a sloppy alcoholic, so the gauzy romanticism of that period is...forced.

by Anonymousreply 25May 25, 2023 3:09 PM

She’s ugly and looks like the female Willie Nelson

by Anonymousreply 26May 25, 2023 3:52 PM

[quote]Fred Smith was a sloppy alcoholic, so the gauzy romanticism of that period is...forced.

Maybe so but he was her husband. Yet she still spends her time exhuming Mapplethorpe.

by Anonymousreply 27May 25, 2023 4:14 PM

I know very little about her. I’ve read little things about her here and there, but I was never all that interested. I think I found her ugliness off-putting if I’m honest.

One thing I read about her was in Bebe Buell’s autobiography. She quite easily manipulated Bebe into posing for Playboy which destroyed her modeling career and made her a laughing stock. It isnt that Bebe was not responsible for making the choice to do it, but that Patti knew how easily influenced Bebe was and that all she had to do was appeal to Bebe’s ego. It was just an interesting tidbit.

by Anonymousreply 28May 25, 2023 6:52 PM

Yeah she’s a 70s art chick Pick Me. Just one of the boys. Not really a friend to women.

by Anonymousreply 29May 25, 2023 7:32 PM

She’s ugly as sin looks like a mean corpse. She’s got radical views and her music only interests me very very occasionally in small increments.

by Anonymousreply 30May 25, 2023 11:01 PM

One of my favorite artists.

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by Anonymousreply 31May 25, 2023 11:31 PM
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by Anonymousreply 32May 25, 2023 11:40 PM

For the life of me, I can’t see Patti and Bebe hanging out together.

by Anonymousreply 33May 26, 2023 1:52 AM

I like this song, Redondo Beach.

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by Anonymousreply 34May 26, 2023 1:57 AM
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