An exhibition of the provocative nude photography of Robert Mapplethorpe at the Accademia Gallery in Florence—home to Michelangelo's David—has just been extended, due to popular demand, through January 2010. Robert Mapplethorpe: Perfection in Form is the first exhibition of contemporary art ever to be shown in the Italian museum, where other well-known works by Michelangelo are also on view. Mapplethorpe’s photographic portrayals of athletic flesh are hung next to the Renaissance master’s work—reclaiming its significance for our time. Guardian art-blogger Jonathan Jones thinks, “this is a great new direction for Florentine museums to take.” Ironically, Mapplethorpe, who was once banned in US for being too shocking, is now being enthusiastically embraced by conservative Italy.
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