just kids: patti smith & robert mapplethorpe out now

“Just Kids” captures a moment when Ms. Smith and Mapplethorpe were young, inseparable, perfectly bohemian and completely unknown, to the point in which a touristy couple in Washington Square Park spied them in the early autumn of 1967 and argued about whether they were worth a snapshot. The woman thought they looked like artists. The man disagreed, saying dismissively, “They’re just kids.”

It was in 1967, on her first day in New York, that 20-year-old aspiring poet Patti Smith met fellow artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Their friendship, romance and creative collaboration began on that day and lasted until Mapplethorpe’s death in 1989.

Both children of religious upbringings and influenced by ideas of outsider culture, the pair would stay up painting and listening to records in their Brooklyn apartment before Mapplethorpe eventually moved to San Francisco.

In the course of their friendship, Smith would become a punk icon and Mapplethorpe a famed photographer. Smith’s new memoir, Just Kids, tells the story of their 22-year friendship.

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