Mapplethorpe’s provocative and groundbreaking body of photography made him one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. This photograph belongs to a larger series of work the artist made with Lisa Lyon, who won the first Women’s World Pro Bodybuilding Championship in 1979. In October 1980, she stood 5-foot-3, weighed 105 pounds, and could deadlift 225 pounds, squat 265 pounds, and bench-press 120 pounds. The photographs of Lyon presented a physically powerful and self-aware woman as a symbol of beauty. Lyon and Mapplethorpe’s collaborations resulted in several full-length and fragmented portraits and figure studies, many of which Mapplethorpe published in his 1983 book Lady Lisa Lyon.
feminism; figures; portraits; women
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