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Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter

Robert Mapplethorpe, 04 Nov 1946 - 09 Mar 1989
Brian Ridley
Lyle Heeter
Gelatin silver print
Sheet: 40.6 x 50.8cm (16 x 20")
Credit Line
Owner: Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Restrictions & Rights
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission
Object number
Exhibition Label
In this playful inversion of the classic family photograph, leather-clad Brian Ridley sits in an ornate wingback chair, chained and shackled to his dominant, horsewhip-wielding partner, Lyle Heeter. Far from submissive, Ridley's wide-legged stance, upright posture, and direct address to the camera indicate that he willingly acts out his chosen sadomasochistic role. The machismo of the couple's leather gear is undercut by the flamboyance of their living room-replete with an Oriental rug, pewter vases, sculpted lamp and clock, and grasscloth wall covering. That this homosexual S&M ritual takes place in the context of the couple's "normal" life (which also includes antique collecting) powerfully challenges what it means to be a "normal" or "domestic" couple.
Data Source
Catalog of American Portraits
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Catalog of American Portraits