Recently, I’ve run into mannequins. It’s a whole new world. Folks collect them, refurbish them with new paint, human hair lashes and glass eyes. Ten years ago, if I had paid a visit to a fortune teller and she told me that mannequins and wigs would play some part in my future, I wouldn’t have believed it.
Last fall I attended a play on a college campus in the Berkshires, and a group of mannequins were lolling in the lobby. I shot them on my way out. A few weeks ago I happened upon an armless vintage woman of wood. She was worn to tatters and I fell in love with the mesmerizing cracks and deformities in her skin.
Finally, there’s Nora, restored perhaps beyond her original glory with ruby-red lips, piercing glass eyes, and Snow White skin. Before I finished unwrapping her, I began to photograph her, in an attempt to decipher her mystery. Nora’s going to do some modeling for me. When she’s not working, she’s the beauty in the basement. The rest of the family says she’s too spooky to reside anywhere else in the house. So, in the basement she will perch, her head sealed in a plastic grocery bag when she’s between gigs. Can’t allow any dust to settle in those lashes.