Born in 1959, Edward Mapplethorpe was the younger brother of the controversial New York photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. He worked as an assistant in his brother's studio and the relationship between the two was strictly professional; however, when Edward started taking his own photographs the relationship became strained. His first show was in a gallery on Broadway, featuring in a group exhibition alongside Robert. When his brother discovered this, he insisted Edward use their mother's maiden name to separate his "kid brother" from his own success; hence "Edward Maxey".
The split from his brother was brief, after moving to Los Angeles he soon returned as Robert's carer when Robert fell ill. The two brothers worked together on photographic techniques and organisation. In 1989 Robert passed away and in the year following Edward Maxey had his first personal exhibitions in London, Los Angeles and New York.
His body of work ranges from abstract expressionism and the experimental to portraiture. A distinguished set of his portraits were taken in his studio, with the subject behind a block of ice to abstract their features and face. Today, he uses his true Christian name again "Mapplethorpe" and has gained world recognition with exhibitions in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Venezuela and Japan.