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Special Books : Wagstaff, before and after Mapplethorpe

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The book at the top of the tree this season is Philip Gefter’s "Sam Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe - A Biography”  (Liveright / W.W. Norton 2014). Gefter’s portrait of Wagstaff is as full as “Sam’s big love for shimmering light”.  It is colorful, anecdotal, and naughty; it provides an invaluable historical bridge spanning from the beginnings of collecting photographs in the 1970’s to today and locating Wagstaff as the pre-eminent influence, colored by his “typical imperiousness and the confidence of his own vision”.

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