The black & white idea

Jean Patchett by Irving Penn, VOGUE
1 April 1950
Straps and stripes and a black veil over a whitened face, retouched in the zone of transmission between the face and its image. Art as pyrotechnician of an explosion of high spirits: the April Fool’s Day feeling that to put on the mask is never to die, let alone to experience curiosity or alert attention. Bars of a portable prison. High-contrast loss of the middle ranges of emotion. Veil as barrier to whatever might be external to the self, a world that the veil has successfully excluded from notice by the masked face.

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