Friday, March 20, 2009
Yesterday's post of the photographer's self-portrait brought to mind one of more evocative images I own. It too is a real photo postcard, and shows a man with a very young child dressed in white on his knee. The expression on his face, which I read as pure shell-shocked grief, just begs the story. I imagine that his wife. the child's mother, has died, and now he faces a frightening future without her, the daunting prospect of being a father alone and poor. Note the patch on his pants at the knee. It's remarkable that he chose to have this portrait made. I think of it as a sort of post-post-mortem. The condition of the card, stained and stepped on, just amplifies the effect. I put it right up there with Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother portrait.