“The Man On Jimin’s Pants”: Why A Photographer’s Face In The BTS Member’s Video Is A Big Deal

A tribute? An inspiration? Or just an outfit?

BTS Jimin‘s solo album Face is sweeping the charts within 48 hours of its release. When the music video for the title track “Like Crazy” dropped on March 24, people quite literally went crazy over it. Apart from Jimin’s insane visuals, ARMYs found the video packed with symbolism and artistic references.

Since the entire album, according to the singer himself, is about his raw emotions of alienation and self-inspection during the pandemic, it was only fair that fans analyzed every little detail of the music video for easter eggs. The first thing that got fans’ brains into gear was the girl in the music video, who many theorized represented Jimin’s reflection.

“Who’s That Girl?” ARMYs’ Theories About The Mysterious Girl In BTS Jimin’s “Like Crazy” Music Video

The second thing that caught people’s attention was a pair of pants worn by Jimin, which had a man’s face on it. The black leather pants are from the brand MISBHV, and the product description revealed that the man featured on the pair was celebrated American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

The photographer dabbled into various subject areas, including celebrity portraits, self-portraits, and still-life images. Some of his more controversial projects included male and female nudes and a study of the gay male BDSM subculture in the 1960s-70s New York. Mapplethorpe’s most recognized works are black-and-white, his signature style as an artist.

Self-portrait of Mapplethorpe | Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Portrait taken by Robert Mapplethorpe| Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

ARMYs feel that Jimin wearing a pair of pants with Mapplethorpe’s face is more than barely a stylistic statement. Some even found similarities between the photographer’s pieces and Jimin’s photo-folio, which implies that the singer has drawn artistic influence from him before as well.

Jimin has repeatedly called this album an honest piece of work that reflects his personal emotions. He had also used the word “raw” to describe his photo folio when he first introduced the project to fans. A significant portion of his fanbase has often interpreted his recent works through the queer lens, and the inclusion of Mapplethorpe seems to support the interpretation. Many feel that regardless of the degree to which he might connect his life experience to Mapplethorpe’s work, the very act of open acknowledgment is a massive deal for an artist with such a diverse group of people looking up to him.


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