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Calla Lilly by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1988. Mapplethorpe's earliest pictures of flowers date from 1973, not long after he had been given a Polaroid camera. It would be easy to consider Mapplethorpe's flower pictures as distinct from these overtly erotic images, but this would be a mistake. The flowers are photographed in the same manner in which he photographed sex or portraits or anything else that crossed his studio in the course of a day. His flower pictures reach a peak with the calla lilies, where some have argued that there is a suggestion of death, of Mapplethorpe's own mortality. #objet_d_emotion