Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe | Chicago Reader

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

Mapplethorpe may have gotten all the headlines, but the real center of this 2007 video documentary is Samuel Wagstaff Jr., the wealthy art curator and collector who became the photographer's longtime lover and sugar daddy. Given Wagstaff's relative obscurity and the close relationship between the two men, writer-director James Crump may have felt pressured to frame this as a twin portrait. Yet the flashy, Vanity Fair-style treatment of their public lives, which necessarily culminates in Mapplethorpe's notorious shows, isn't nearly as interesting as the aesthetic focus on Wagstaff's eclectic tastes. With Patti Smith and Dominick Dunne. 72 min.

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