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Sofia Coppola curates Robert Mapplethorpe show in Paris

November 22, 2011 | 10:14 am

Sofia Coppola is curating a new exhibition of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe

In the languorously hip movies of Sofia Coppola, style often trumps substance and the visual takes precedence over the verbal. Scenes typically have an ethereal, not-quite-there feeling, as if recalled from memory. It should therefore come as little surprise that the Oscar-winning filmmaker of "The Virgin Suicides," "Lost in Translation," "Marie Antoinette" and "Somewhere" harbors a personal passion for art photography.

This month, Coppola is curating a new exhibition of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe at the Galerie Thaddeus Ropac in Paris. The show, titled "Robert Mapplethorpe by Sofia Coppola," is set to open Friday and will run through Jan. 7. (Thanks to @IsabRegnier for the heads-up.)

The gallery said in a release that Coppola selected the images for the show from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in New York. It said the exhibition uses the same approach as the show "Robert Mapplethorpe: Eye to Eye," curated by Cindy Sherman in 2003, and "Robert Mapplethorpe Curated by David Hockney" in 2005.

"The idea is to have a contemporary artist bring his or her take on an Ĺ“uvre as significant as that of Robert Mapplethorpe's," the gallery said.

Coppola's exhibition is to include still-lifes as well as images of children, animals and women. Among the works on display will be photographic portraits of Marisa Berenson (1983) and Paloma Picasso (1980).

Photography has long played a role in Coppola's career. She studied photography as a student and has taken a keen interest in fashion photography, having once worked as a model.


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-- David Ng

Photo: Sofia Coppola. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times