Born in Floral Park, New York, in 1946. The work of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe embodied the subculture of New York City in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He documented the BDSM scene through a highly trained artistic eye, linking the aesthetics of his subject matter with the classical traditions of artistic production. He approached his subject through the same lens as he would “carnations in a bowl.” His work and its inclusion in public spaces and exhibitions sparked a national debate in the 1980s regarding government funding of works deemed “shocking” by conservative viewers and the religious right.