Category: hiv/aids

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Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe photographed by Norman Seeff, 1969.   

“We wanted, it seemed, what we already had, a lover and a friend to create with, side by side. To be loyal, yet be free.”- Patti Smith

In her memoir Just Kids, Patti Smith details her intense relationship with

Robert Mapplethorpe in which they struggle to become artists in New York City. They lived together at the Hotel Chelsea – home to numerous writers, musicians, actors and artists. Patti supported Robert by working in bookstores, he soon flourished as a photographer and encouraged her to pursue visual art. As a writer, Patti eventually turned her poems into songwriting. For the cover of her debut album, Horses (1975), Patti used a portrait Robert took. Once Robert came out as a gay man their intimate relationship ended but they remained friends until his death from HIV/AIDS in 1989.

Artist Keith Haring attends the Party to Celebrate Alyson Books’ Publication of ‘You Can Do Something About AIDS’ to Benefit HIV/AIDS Research on June 13, 1988 at Club MK in New York City. 

Photo by Ron Galella