“O brave new world that has such creatures in it!” In my case, I refer not to men, as was Miranda in The Tempest, but rather to women.
Women, for me, are the miraculous gift, given to a rather incomplete male. They are, on occasion, all that we need to complete ourselves. They are graceful, delicate, serene, and beautiful, although most modern art would rather depict women as empowered, strong, and capable, they in fact appear to me as powerless and fraught with insecurity.
As a boy, women appeared to me as almost miraculous. They stood on a pedestal to be adored and worshipped. They had inherent power over men, which over the years they have fought so strongly to give up to be more like men. Now we are equal, and in the process women have gained something, but in my mind have lost much more. In the process of opening their own doors, they have lost the attention of men who view a woman as a lady.
The model in this picture is Bernadette. I have photographed her for years, never tiring of her beauty. She is not your classic, modern American ideal of beauty: blonde, athletic, vigorous, but rather to me she is delicate, porcelain-skinned, and graceful. She always has been a woman of a certain time. She is my ideal of beauty. I’ve included a few other pictures of her, not from the book, but as a way for you to see her in all her beauty and variety.