Patti Smith ‘Just Kids’

I’ve written in yesterdays post about ‘Just Kids’ the recently published book by

Patti Smith in which she talks about her relationship with the artist

Robert Mapplethorpe, it’s a really good book and rightly deserves the

huge (and highly favourable) review from Edmund White in The Guardian 



In it she writes about  having her picture taken, by Mapplethorpe,

for the cover of her debut album,  ‘Horses’. It’s an image that

established Patti as an icon and one that  I’m sure you all know as

well as I. It’s quite something to be taken by her into that room, on

that afternoon, when that famous photograph was taken, and what she

writes  is pure poetry.  I found it incredibly touching;


<em>The clouds kept moving back and forth. Something happened with his

light meter and he became slightly agitated. He took a few shots. He

abandoned the light meter. A cloud went by and the triangle

dissapeared. He said, “you know, I really like the whiteness of the

shirt. Can you take your jacket off?”

I flung my jacket over my shoulder, Frank Sinatra style. I was full of

references. He was full of light and shadow.


“It’s back, ” he said.

He took a few more shots.

“I got it.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know.”

He took twelve pictures that day.

Within a few days he showed me the contact sheet. “This one has the

magic,” he said.

Whenever I look at it now , I never see me, I see us.</em>

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