WomanI have been searching for source material for a new painting and I ran across the fashion photo. Several weeks later I realized that it reminded me of the Walker Evans photo on the right. There is a “family” resemblance between the two women’s faces. Beyond that, both images are of women who have been purged of their dignity. Well, I don’t know about the model; perhaps outside of work she is an intelligent, empowered young woman. But, the image the photographer created is of a blank, damaged woman whose only function is to serve as an armature for the clothes she wears. I feel sorry for her. The other woman has lost her dignity through circumstance and economic hardship; her individuality is masked by the dirty, shapeless “bag” she wears. I feel empathy for her.

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