These pictures were made on the beaches of Palm Beach,Florida
and La Jolla, California. I was drawn to the sunbathers, some who spent
hours, inert, moving only to turn the page in a novel, to apply a new coat
of sunscreen or a fresh layer of lipstick.
The photographs do not recall the demure looks of a young Garbo or Deitrich, but rather the slightly off ward glance of a Sunset Boulevard Swanson. She’s been out of the racket for a long time, and the Look doesn’t come naturally anymore. Before, when she was the star, the camera was her mirror. Now the only mirror is in her vanity closet. She’s been practicing lately, though, and her moment is now. She’s at the stairwell and she’s ready for her close up. She strikes a pose and the cameras flash. But something is kind of off. Her mouth is a little crooked; her glance falls just slightly west of the target. Things have changed. The mirror is gone, and so, it appears, is her audience.The self-consciously genuine, yet slightly awkward poses found on the beach reveal moments where ideas of aging, past glory, and the pursuit of leisure in a post-industrial society form a new reality.