Javier Gonzalez, c. 1985 Unique Polaroid, the reverse with Polacolor stamp. 8.5 x 10.7cm (3 3/8 x 4 3/16in).
Provenance: Acquired by the present owner directly from the photographer, c. 1985-7
Javier Gonzalez was assistant to Mapplethorpe from the mid-1980s, when he was brought in to replace Mapplethorpe's brother Edward, with whom the photographer had a tempestuous relationship. Mapplethorpe met Gonzalez in Madrid at the opening of his exhibition 'Black Flowers' at Fernando Vijande Gallery in March 1985. He was immediately attracted by the young Spaniard's classical looks and punk hairstyle and, despite his new assistant not speaking any English or understanding any technical terms in the studio, Mapplethorpe was determined to take him on. Gonzalez would prove indispensible to the photographer in his last weeks and months, when Mapplethorpe would sit in his chair and photograph the flower displays arranged by his assistant and lover.