This is not surprising, since Mapplethorpe achieved meteoric success and celebrity in his lifetime. Yet Peter Hujar was there first, making intensely intimate and exacting photographs of lovers, friends, and artistic heroes for more than a decade before Mapplethorpe picked up a camera. Hujar and Mapplethorpe inevitably knew each other, and everyone in the downtown scene, it seems, knew them. They travelled, at least initially, in similar social circles, and photographed many of the same people. So pervasive were their influence and reputations that the photographer Josef Astor recalls that when he moved to New York in the late 1970s as a young, gay, aspiring photographer, he was expected to choose between an allegiance to Robert Mapplethorpe’s camp or Peter Hujar’s. Despite their commonalities, they created very distinct bodies of work, and their rivalry was not always friendly. Hujar considered Mapplethorpe’s images too calculated and sanitized, dismissing the work by observing, “Well, it looks like art.”