Picks and Pans Review: Photographs
by Joyce Tenneson
You couldn't ask for a better contrast in attitude: To Art Kane, being a woman seems tantamount to being a prop; to Tenneson, being a woman is to see the world as a tender fantasy. Kane is a successful commercial photographer, and many of his exploitative pictures of women have been assembled in Paper Dolls (Melrose, $35). Some of the photographs are familiar, such as the model in black lace sitting demurely on the floor of an empty apartment next to a large snake. A three-picture sequence shows an empty kitchen, then a couple making love on the kitchen floor, then a man climbing into the empty room through an open window. Another photograph shows a beautiful nude woman in red high-heeled shoes sprawled in a shoeshine chair, while the attendant, indifferent, reads a tabloid. Andy Warhol appears in one too, tied 10 a chair next to model Janice Dickinson, who is topless and sporting a see-through black lace garter belt. Sometimes there is mystery—the mystery of the surrealist's joke—but more often Kane's pictures seem tasteless and faintly degrading to their subjects. Many of Joyce Tenneson's photographs are of nude women too, but the contrast to those of Kane's is astounding. Her book (Godine, $20) is a beautifully reproduced portfolio of silvery prints, pictures of delicate lacy clothing, a baby's bare bottom, pale hands holding eggshells, children. They all seem to be dreamlike images of a woman's world, suggestions of intimate beauty, extremely personal.
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