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Black, White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff + Robert Mapplethorpe 

Thursday, Jan 17 2013
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In conjunction with the current Robert Mapplethorpe exhibits at the Getty and LACMA, the museums co-present Black, White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff + Robert Mapplethorpe, a 2004 documentary by James Crump on the relationship between the photographer and his lover and curator. Wagstaff was a man of wealth and privilege who ditched working in advertising for curating; the film's title refers to a 1964 exhibit of that name curated by Wagstaff. Wagstaff met Mapplethorpe, who was half his age, in the early '70s, and the two remained together until both died of AIDS within two years of each other in the late '80s. Though more a study of Wagstaff as a collector -- especially his vast collection of anonymous, vintage photographs, which he sold to the Getty in 1984 -- the movie poses the question of whether Mapplethorpe saw his influential benefactor as his true love or a cash cow. Writer and former French Vogue editor Joan Juliet Buck narrates, and talking heads include Dominick Dunne and Patti Smith, Mapplethorpe's first muse and the couple's closest friend. Crump and curators Britt Salveson and Frances Terpak discuss the film after the screening. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave.; Sun., Jan. 20, 9 p.m.; $15. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.
Sun., Jan. 20, 9 p.m., 2013
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Reach the writer at sbabayan@laweekly.com

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