One of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Mapplethrope is also among the most controversial. Particularly from the late '80s into the '90s, there was vocal conservative outcry from Congressmen and quasi-moralistic lobbying groups objecting to the display of his work—often touching on themes homoerotic and sadomasochistic—in publicly funded exhibitions and institutions. Among others, there was a particular self-portrait involving a bullwhip that the nation's Pat Robertsons just couldn't seem to stomach, in public at least. Which is not to say that controversy was all one-sided all the time. Mapplethorpe received his fair share of criticism from the left in what some argued was an objectifying, exploitative depiction of the black male body in his monograph The Black Book.