Was wild Mapplethorpe just another guy with a camera?

By Jonathan Jones

Juergen Teller's selection of Robert Mapplethorpe shots restores the shock. But some of these pairings are more Carry On than cool still life

I like taking photographs. I am actually starting to love taking them. I like looking at photographs, too, and sharing them. But I still can't quite take photography seriously as art. When I walk into a gallery where photographs are the only thing on the wall, my heart sinks. Normally at an exhibition, I am the person looking longest, staring hardest. It seems impossible ever to give enough time to powerful art, to ever to fully fathom an installation by Richard Serra, let alone a painting by Rembrandt.

But in a room full of framed prints, I'm the one giving each picture just a quick look before moving on. I'm the shallowest person in the room. I can't understand what is detaining people, what everyone can see in all these elegantly mounted pictures. I'm bored and I want to go home.

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