Purchase Advance Tickets!

Films We Like and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) co-present the Canadian theatrical premiere of Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey’s documentary on Robert Mapplethorpe, whose controversial photographs of the 1970s New York BDSM scene caused national debate (courtesy of HBO Canada). Debuting on Jan. 18, 2016, 4 screenings run at the AGO’s Jackman Hall until Jan. 21.

Tickets are $10 for the public, $8 for students and $9 for AGO Members, and go on sale Dec. 22, 2016 at http://www.ago.net/mapplethorpe-look-at-the-pictures.

The screenings are 18+ events.

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (Dirs. Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, 2016, USA/Germany, 108min.) Courtesy HBO Canada “Look at the pictures.” With these words, Jesse Helms denounced the work of Robert Mapplethorpe. Twenty-five years later, the first and most complete documentary about the artist since his death, by acclaimed directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, does just that, with unprecedented unlimited access to his archives and work.
Mapplethorpe might have had hundreds of lovers, but only a few were key relationships, almost all of whom are present in the film. Rounding out this portrait of the artist are the recollections of his older sister Nancy and youngest brother Edward. An artist and photographer in his own right, Edward worked as Robert's assistant for many years and was responsible for much of the technical excellence of the work. 

But the most prominent voice in the documentary is Mapplethorpe's own. Thanks to a number of rediscovered interviews, he is our narrator. Completely candid, shockingly honest, he speaks about his life, loves, and work. Seen through his eyes, they were a seamless whole, a complete work of art. 

The result is a portrait of the artist who dedicated his life not only to becoming an artist but also to making his chosen medium, photography, respected and valued as a fine art. And he succeeded; His final show, The Perfect Moment, self-planned as he was dying of AIDS, proved to be a time bomb, igniting a culture war that still reverberates today. 

With a collection of more than 90,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’s masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002, Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit ago.net to learn more.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

Founded by award-winning documentary filmmaker Ron Mann (Grass, Comic Book Confidential, Altman) Films We Like is a boutique distributor of documentary, independent, and international films in Canada. Recent releases include Things to Come, Tampopo and Cameraperson.

Media Contacts:

Films We Like: Alicia Fletcher 
AGO Communications Officer: Samantha Chater