Model and Robert Mapplethorpe muse Ken Moody has died.
Moody worked with the famed photographer during three years in the 1980s creating some of his most iconic pictures. You know them, they are a part of our shared cultural memories. The eyes-closed-like-a-death-mask pic, the black-on-white photo with drag legend Constance, the armless-looking back shot…. All LEGENDARY (see below).
Writes his sister, Ellen Monroe, on Facebook:
It’s with much sadness and a very heavy heart that my family and I announce the sudden and untimely death of my beloved brother Ken Moody. He will not only be missed in our hearts and lives, but also by his many colleague and friends in the art community. My family and I thank you for all your prayers and condolence messages. A memorial service to honor and celebrate Ken’s life is being planned at this time for a later date. I will share the detail as soon as I have them. Keep us in your thought and prayers.
Below, an excerpt from interviews with Ken culled from the WOW doc Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, in which he talks about what an incongruous pairing he and Mapplehorpe were.
(Top photo: Ken at the Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures NYC premiere)
GO | NO GO 💥Bloemstillevens en kille sm – alleen in het oeuvre van de beroemde en beruchte fotograaf Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) gaan die twee perfect samen. Dit is fotografie die meerdere zintuigen aanspreekt: van bijna tastbare bloemblaadjes die kraakhelder uit de afdruk lijken te springen, tot een vuist die tot aan de elleboog in iemands achterste verdwijnt. Yup – je ziet zijn fotografie niet alleen, je voelt het ook. Nu te zien in de @kunsthal; de expositie ‘Robert Mapplethorpe, een perfectionist’. Lees nu op onze blog wat wij van deze tentoonstelling vonden, inclusief wat extra tips: kunstmeisjes.com (link in bio) 💥 Beeld: ‘Ken Moody and Robert Sherman’, 1984, Platinum print. Jointly acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The J. Paul Getty Trust. Partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by The J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. #robertmapplethorpe #mapplethorpe #perfectionist #kunsthal #rotterdam #expo #exhibition #tentoonstelling #expositie #photography #kenmoody #robertsherman #art #kunst #artoftheday #kunstmeisjes #artgirls #artblog #artblogger #blog #blogger
FBF: On the occasion of Susanne Bartsch’s @bartschland exhibition at the FIT museum @museumatfit, here is another photo taken for David Barton Gym @davidbartongym under the aegis of Susanne. The subject here, Ken Moody outfitted in a corset and coordinating codpiece, is an icon in his own right (due in no small part to his epochal work with Robert Mapplethorpe). #SusanneBartsch #DavidBartonGym #KenMoody #FlashbackFriday #albertsanchez
Interestingly, Ken and Robert were never friends, despite their frequent collaboration. He told Contributor magazine in 2011:
Did you know Robert before you started working together?
– We were never friends, Robert and I. I don’t know why people are surprised about this, but Robert and I didn’t get along. We didn’t really like each other. We had nothing in common. I am very conservative for a liberal-minded guy. I didn’t have this crazy life. I did well in school, I had the same friends and I had a nice little life. But I wanted to be in front of the camera and he managed to get me there.
When did you start working with Robert?
– I met him in 1982. I was working out of my gym at the time and one of Robert’s friends Dimitri approached me and he said: ”I think you need to meet Robert Mapplethorpe”. I had just heard of Robert. I wasn’t that sophisticated as far as art goes, but photography had always attracted me. I had just seen the book ”Lady” with bodybuilder Lisa Lions and I was knocked out by it. Two weeks later, his friend was handing me his business card.
So the two of you never hung out after the job was done?
– No, and when we did spend time together socially it was very uncomfortable. We didn’t match well at all and that is what I think is strange because as soon as the camera started clicking he and I were like born to be together. As soon as the camera stopped, we didn’t know what to say to each other.
Read the rest of that interview here.