Brassai – Anonymous Prostitute (1930)
I’ve seen this photo attributed to Brassai. I am not convinced that’s correct.
The supposition is probably based upon the date, placing it concurrent with what we might term Brassai ‘sex worker’ period.
The image strikes me as too bright to be Brassai. Further, this woman has clearly ducked out of sight to straighten her stockings. The photos from his ‘sex worker’ period suggest the subjects as collaborators aware of the camera.
Brassai will never be my favorite photographer but I do appreciate the fact that his work suggests he saw sex workers as more than just objects. And that’s what makes me think this isn’t a Brassai–because as wonderful as the unmediated moment presented is, it skives me out a little because the seemingly unaware subject in combination with the title raises all sorts of issues w/r/t consent and objectification.
(Also as an aside: I don’t consider this #skinnyframebullshit. There is a compositional logic for the vertical orientation–drawing attention to this woman’s legs. So yeah the moment presented is intriguing but there are some downright lecherous aspects that are causing me second thoughts about posting this. I suppose the point I want to make is please image makers, strive for this sort of unself-conscious immediacy in your work but at the same time take great pains to lead by example when it comes to questions of consent..)