December 13, 2016

"Shots like this are challenging because it’s tempting to jump to conclusions about her economic situation... but all that we do know is that she has a wonderful eccentricity."

"I don’t know what kind of comments are appropriate for a photo like this other than something like 'more power to her.' Photographers like Lissette Model and Diane Arbus made their careers shooting people on the fringes of society but I wonder if those type of photos today feel informative or exploitive?"

From the comments: "Were you unable to talk to her? I imagine that all of your questions would’ve have been answered or at least a simple conversation would’ve revealed a few things. I think you may have answered your own question about informative vs. exploitive."

15 comments:

bagoh20 said...

Working house painter taking a break?

khesanh0802 said...

Hard to beat the comment that Ann cited. If you're curious or concerned how about getting off your high horse and asking? The difference between those who live on the coast -particularly NYC - and those in flyover country; we actually talk to people we meet.

David said...

Most photos at Sartoralist are exploitative. Or of exploiters and exploitees. Usually a mutuality of exploitation is evident. Not in this one though.

roesch/voltaire said...

Diane Arbus made direct contact with her fringe people, visited their homes and sometimes slept with them, so this is hardly a fair comparison.l Shots like this are not challenging, but mostly banal. For street shots that are more than exploitation see Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, Saul Leiter or Sid Grossman to name a few.

Earnest Prole said...

Isn't the point of personal style to communicate without words? Her clothes are so obviously put together with that in mind. If The Sartorialist wants to explore exploitation dilemmas, he has far stronger material than this photo.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I thought it was a national security matter - somehow this bum got hold of the next generation Multicam fabric!

Kate said...

My aunt is a schizophrenic. Highly intelligent, very stylish, completely transient. She's in her upper 80's, and we have no idea now if she's alive or dead.

Sartorial and all his commenters, who admire this woman's dashing joie de vivre, can fuck themselves with a spoon.

R.J. Chatt said...

My personal experience is that it's usually not a good idea to ask personal questions of someone on the street if they are likely to be schizophrenic. Reminds me of the old saying that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. One of the commenters wrote about running into a fellow art student who had become homeless because of mental health issues -- really painful to think about someone sacrificing everything to remain an artist.

CuznDon said...

Husband banned from Christmas shopping

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Samuel, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

2. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, "Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away." This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her supervisor that in turn resulted in a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.

3. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms on layaway.

4. August 14: Moved a "CAUTION - WET FLOOR" sign to a carpeted area.

5. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department, to which twenty children obliged.

6. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?" EMTs were called.

7. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

8. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled "PICK ME! PICK ME!"

9. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed a fetal position and screamed "OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!"

And last, but not least:

10. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here." One of the clerks passed out.

........

FullMoon said...

Heroin nod.

Jeff said...

CuznDon, that was beautiful. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Thanks!

JAORE said...

If those street people exhibit a sense of style and stay down wind.... why they are just charming..... almost real people.

Leora said...

One of the most annoying thing about coastal liberals is the belief that being mentally ill is somehow liberating.

mikee said...

Here in Austin I sometimes go to the Exxon at I-35 & Saint John Street to hire Hispanic day laborers who congregate there. Great guys, they are good workers, with interesting stories. But on the way back to the work site, we usually pass some local homeless Austinites begging under the freeway at the red lights.

I have learned from the guys in my truck several interesting Spanish words and phrases not taught in my high school language course as we pass the beggars, who are not only looked upon by the day laborers as immoral people for begging, but also are hated for the ease with which they get their money from passersby.

Consider this my snapshot of street people from lovely central Texas.

JTR said...

We had a guy at Sproul Plaza, every day. I saw him off-campus once and did ask, and he was a complete fucking asshole.