SnapLines - BEAUTY DEPOSED – "Thomas" by Robert Mapplethorpe

The concrete cylinder was sliced on a circular cross-section to expose him balanced as if, with a slight shift his weight, he could overcome inertia and roll the massive tube one way or another while never losing his position. An excess of sexual imagery? No action-reaction? Whatever the precipitant she could not get comfortable with the out-of-kilter pentagram. So, when an assistant was asked to spray a matte fixative over his upper arms to diminish the shine, the ladybug flitted through the distraction and lit upon the skin above his supra-spinatus, a small muscle that stretched from the head of his humerus along his shoulder blade to attach above his spine.

Her pin-prick mind was not, however, on the deeper muscles but was preoccupied with walking the ridge created by his biceps, then back along his tender triceps even venturing so far as his supinator longus so that she irritated his radial nerve in that proximity.

Here she paused in her excursion and eventually retraced her hair-thin steps. One by one by six small toes she progressed, stopping only occasionally to take in an enervation of salty sweat. She allowed herself to be lured further out upon the deep facia that held (“Ah yes,” she repeated contentedly.) held his deltoid and the wide wing of his pectoral empire, designed when God’s creative abilities were at their peak. Then dot-by-dot by dot by dot the ladybird beetle extended her range into a frontier where any normal woman’s eyes would have been compelled to venture.

Turning brighter and brighter shades of red she transversed his monumental glutes. After considering a descent along that tender hamstring into more southern longitudes she followed instead the pheromones that had been stimulating her antennae to investigate the island territories of the dark pink sac that remained so curiously free of definition. Then suddenly, perhaps distracted by the unexpected chill, she yielded to maidenly inhibition and took flight–-freeing his from the almost overwhelming urge to swat the fly.

Thomas” photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe in 1987 at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY USA