Sunday 28 October 2018

Website Research

Robert Mapplethorpe

I have been researching photographers websites and the first website I looked at was Robert Mapplethorpe.  This website is run by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation as Mapplethorpe died in 1989 of AIDS.  Mapplethorpe spent his early career developing his skills as a photographer through the use of polaroids and he studies art at the Pratt Institute near Brooklyn. Mapplethorpe's use of polaroids gained him some attention in his first exhibition in 1973, at the time he was living with Patti Smith in The Chelsea Hotel which also housed a number of artists who would go on to become well known for their works - this circle of artists and friends Mapplethorpe used as his subject and after his first exhibition Mapplethorpe acquired a Hasselblad camera which he also began ti use in his work.  Mapplethorpe's work ranges from portraiture where he emulates Greek Sculpture to beautifully sensual images of plants and flowers.

The website The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation is consistent and well laid out withe the headline of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation appearing on each page along with the menu which appear as you scroll over the top. Below you can see screenshots from the site - I was most taken with the first image on the home page - simple and beautiful - filling the page and with scrolling images so the image changes every few seconds.  The portfolio page is easy to use with the images in thumbnails so you can just click through.  The About page is informative and explains the foundation and there is a well written biography page with images.   Overall this website is easy to navigate, great for information, consistent and I am pleased to see the artist and his work represented in the best way possible online.

Helmut Newton

The second website I researched was Helmut Newton which is also from a Foundation The Helmut Newton Foundation - I thought it would be in keeping to look at two foundations to compare.  Helmut Newton I have written about in a previous post and looked at this website for information.  In terms of the look of the website this is much less impressive.  The website firstly appears quite small on the computer screen page.  The home page image is okay however does not really represent the body of work Newton created.  Going further into the site as you can see below the image on the page to go into Newton works is a  picture of himself which is not really the nest image of the man.  The Biography page is just black with writing and the navigation is more awkward as you have to go into 'Helmut Newton' to get his biography, exhibition and works which really I think should be easy to find on the main menu.  The header is consistent but not very exciting or inviting - overall this could be far more impressive considering Newton's body of work - disappointing!

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