Romance (N.) from Ambrose Bierce #3 by Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1962)

The photograph titled “Romance (N.) from Ambrose Bierce #3” was created by artist Ralph Eugene Meatyard in 1962. It presents a black and white image depicting four figures sitting on a set of wooden stairs. Each figure is wearing a different grotesque mask, covering their faces and obscuring their identities. Their postures are informal and varied: one is slouched with their head resting on their hand, another sits upright with their knees drawn close, one is perched higher on the stairs with their arms crossed, and the smallest of the four is sitting on the lower steps with their face tilting slightly upward.

The masks lend a surreal and unsettling atmosphere to the photograph. The figures are dressed in ordinary clothing, suggesting a stark contrast between their human-like bodies and the bizarre masks. The staircase upon which they are seated is marked with numbers on the risers, designating the steps as 1, 2, and 3, adding another layer of mystery to the composition. The overall effect is eerie, provoking thought about identity, human nature, and perhaps the absurdity lying within the everyday.

Other Photographs from Ralph Eugene Meatyard

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