Another Mapplethorpe model, Veronica Vera , had a sexual relationship with Williams, and indeed Williams had sex with both men and women. Shannon was a supermodel with an auburn mane and ivory skin, along with a tragic background. She places her right hand on his left fist—and he never unclenches either fist or buttocks. One may say that the images of black men that emphasized genitals, buttocks, and even many other body parts, like the images of gay sadomasochism, were intended to objectify. Apparently someone has told a joke as all three laugh, Pagowski and Williams with closed eyes, and Shannon with her hands covering her face. In fact, we only see his open eyes once, in an image where he glares menacingly at a white woman. Shannon seductively wraps her right arm around his left, and she uses her left hand to grasp his right thigh.
Jasmine. Age: 31.
In addition, Mapplethorpe as the hidden voyeur-photographer-participant has posed Dovanna, Tara and Thomas within the frame of his camera and chosen those images that were used for the magazine.
Ariya. Age: 24.
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Commercial Archive and the Sexualization of the Black Male Body
Photographer and model conspired to shock the audience, exoticizing and eroticizing black masculinity at the same time as they force us to confront our fantasies and fears in relation to the black phallus. My speculative account of this story goes something like this: We begin with the models, the beautiful white woman, Tara Shannon ; the lustrous Latvian woman racially also coded as white , Dovanna Pagowski ; and Williams, the masculine black man with the chiseled body. This is the only time in this entire spread that we see his eyes, and he appears angry with Pagowski.