'Tough and Tender' opens at National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Robert Mapplethorpe, Sebastian, 1980, silver gelatin photograph, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 1980

The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra has opened their most recent exhibition, 'Tough and Tender'. Curated by, and emerging from the doctoral research of Christopher Chapman, the exhibition examines the complexities of youth, masculinity and gender. The works poetically reflect on the inherent vulnerability of innocence and beauty to corruption. Guest speaker Christos Tsiolkas (author of 'The Slap') launched the show with these insightful words: "Toughness is being brave in the world as you are." 'Tough and Tender' runs until 16 October.

Entry and title wall to exhibition

Christos Tsiolkas toasting with artists Warwick Baker and Rozalind Drummond