Gelatin silver print
Image: 12.7 x 10.2 cm (5 x 4 in.); Matted: 35.6 x 45.7 cm (14 x 18 in.)
Gift of Friends of Photography 2001.129
Since the mid 1970s, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen has created a highly inventive body of work that challenges the implied truthfulness of photography. She uses a lensless pinhole camera-which she constructed from a cardboard box-that distorts perspective, compresses scale, and produces soft-focus effects that confer a dreamlike quality to her pictures. In this image, Thorne-Thomsen photographed a paper airplane against the skyline of her native Chicago. The actual size of the airplane cannot be determined in this mysterious and unsettling work, which illustrates how reality can be transformed into illusion.
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