Thursday, August 7, 2008


Robert Mapplethorpe, Leatherman II, 1972

This is what cops smell like?

With official notes of citrus, verbena, jasmine, thyme and leather I was expecting Mapplethorpe, and instead got Ryan McGinley.

On my skin I smell a little citrus, then a fragile fresh hay. After a few minutes, medicinal phenol and toothpaste notes creeps in, and the composition smells like the pale teal image of a future hospital. Perhaps our gendarme is a fresh faced young resident, blanched by the surgical lamps, chewing hay and carefully washing his hands. This is somebody's kink, but not mine. I'm even embarrassed to find it a little creepy. This is one of the weirder interpretations of masculinity, and like McGinley;s work it eloquently expresses fragility and vulnerability, but brings in an antiseptic quality that turns my stomach. I'm curious what it smells like on other people.

From Ryan McGinley's website.

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