There are few duos that seem to embody the spirit of Lower Manhattan during the 1960s than Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. As wondrous in their beauty as in their talent, the two icons were voices of their generation, communicating the grit and tension of their time in words and images. In DESIRE, a new photography book by Lloyd Ziff, their partnership is captured in striking detail.
Ziff, whose work would go on to be included in the collections of LACMA and the ICP in New York, shot Smith and Mapplethorpe on two different occasions: in 1968, at their Hall Street apartment, and at his Greenwich Village apartment, in 1969. According to Ziff, the images lay dormant until 2009, when Smith asked if she could use two of the portraits he’d taken for her memoir, Just Kids. Ziff’s own book, which has been recently released, is a beautiful time capsule of the two, and of the city they occupied.
Luckily for you, it’s available for purchase here.
Images courtesy of Lloyd Ziff. DESIRE is available here through NJG Studio.