Jun 27, 2005

The Portraits of Violet and Al

The Portraits of Violet and Al

c. 1973

Part of a set. See all set records

William DeLappa

(American, 1943–2006)

27 gelatin silver prints

Gift of the Artist 2005.93



This collection of moments from a couple’s daily life and family celebrations between 1947 and the early 1960s "deals with, to be sure, divorce, or the separation of people," said DeLappa. He hired actors and shot the series in Ohio around 1973, explaining, "[I wanted] to re-create some of the things that I experienced concerning human relationships when I was a teenager . . . overtones of alienation, loneliness, possibly people coming together for the wrong reasons" amid the stresses of the postwar era. DeLappa used the familiar, comforting aesthetic of the snapshot, adding signs of wear and tear and making typical amateur "mistakes" to lend authenticity. His staged photo narrative is a little-known, pioneering example of a genre of photography that would become prevalent in the 1980s.

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Gift of the Artist

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