Ralph Gibson, Bow Tie, Tails, 1973

Gibson, Bow tie,Tails, 1973

Ralph Gibson (American, b. 1939), Bow Tie, Tails, 1973. Gelatin Silver Print, 8 1/8 x 12 7/16 in. Gift of Dr. Kristaps J. Keggi, 1983.61.10

Taking the place of the human figure, the implied black tuxedo is presented with such high contrast that the body of the suit melts into the dark void behind it. The suit of darkness conflates foreground with background and shallow surface with the depth of context. The vertical label takes the place of a neck and the stiff shirt that of a chest. This flatness, rather than a barrier to erotic projection, holds the sense of possibilities to be unfolded from its buttoned layers.