Now here’s a thought for you – in a couple of years time we could get to see images of Doctor Who star Matt Smith with a whip shoved up his butt. That’s because Deadline reports he’s been cast as artist Robert Mapplethorpe, with Girls’ Zosia Mamet as Patti Smith in a movie based on Smith’s memoir, Just Kids.
The film, currently titled Mapplethorpe, has documentarian Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live In Public) in the director’s chair, and will chronicle the friendship between Robert and Patti, who met before either found great success. She of course become one of the pioneers of the New York punk scene, while photographer Mapplethorpe became one of the most controversial artists of his day.
His images, which often took on gay themes in an explicit and unabashed way – including the aforementioned picture of him with a whip up his butt – set off a firestorm, with numerous protests against them, particularly when they were publicly displayed in prominent galleries underwritten with public funds. Some galleries even pulled out of showing his work because of the controversy surrounding them and accusations they were displaying degenerate pornography.
While he is perhaps best known for his images of the male anatomy, gay BDSM and black men (which caused controversy on their own), he also took many portraits of celebrities, as well as a variety of things such as flowers, children and female bodybuilders. He died of AIDS in 1989 aged 42.
Timoner comments, “After several years of developing this script and searching across the globe for the perfect talent to embody the rich and layered roles of visionary artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, I am ecstatic to have found Matt Smith and Zosia Mamet. They will bring indelible passion, raw humanity, and authenticity to this timeless, inspiring story.”