Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe photographed by Norman Seeff, 1969.
“We wanted, it seemed, what we already had, a lover and a friend to create with, side by side. To be loyal, yet be free.”- Patti Smith
In her memoir Just Kids, Patti Smith details her intense relationship with
Robert Mapplethorpe in which they struggle to become artists in New York City. They lived together at the Hotel Chelsea – home to numerous writers, musicians, actors and artists. Patti supported Robert by working in bookstores, he soon flourished as a photographer and encouraged her to pursue visual art. As a writer, Patti eventually turned her poems into songwriting. For the cover of her debut album, Horses (1975), Patti used a portrait Robert took. Once Robert came out as a gay man their intimate relationship ended but they remained friends until his death from HIV/AIDS in 1989.