Friday, October 17, 2008

Display case 6 (Stieglitz, Cartier-Bresson, Lange)

  The resemblance of the pictures on these three book covers to their 'source' images seems to hover between the spheres of 'influence' and 'coincidence'. Certainly there exists a visual correspondence in all three cases: The cover image of The Mammoth Book of Erotica calls to mind Nude, 1919, part of Alfred Stieglitz's collective portrait of the painter (and his wife) Georgia O'Keeffe. The young woman sitting with legs crossed in Binnie Kirshenbaum's novel Hester Among The Ruins is reminiscent of Henri Cartier-Bresson's 1968 portrait of the photographer (and his wife) Martine Franck. Finally, the image on the cover of Bear Me Safely Over has a strong similarity to Dorothea Lange's 1958 image of a priest's feet in Burma.

  Were the the photographers who made the cover images influenced by Stieglitz, Cartier-Bresson or Lange? Or are the subject's poses archetype, appearing in the visual arts long before the invention of photography?

Title: The Mammoth Book of Erotica

Author: Maxim Jakubowski

Publisher: Carroll & Graf 1994

Designer / Illustrator: Not listed

Title: Hester Among the Ruins

Author: Binnie Kirshenbaum

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company 2002

Designer / Illustrator: Julie Metx

Photographer: Gary Isaacs

Title: Bear Me Safely Over

Author: Sheri Joseph

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press 2002

Designer / Illustrator: Not listed

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