A photograph that made me think – Siesta of a Lottery Ticket Vendor, Plaza Mayor, Inge Morath

A photograph that made me think

The moment I lade my eyes on the photograph, my first reaction was confusion. Only after reading the title some things were clearer. I was immediately struck by the unnatural way the newspapers were covering the figure even though the woman’s position was extremely natural and in a sleeping position. As soon as I read the title, everything made sense. Not only I understood why the newspapers was covering her head, but also why they were on her arms.
As soon as I saw the photograph it reminded me of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s surrealist period, specifically his photograph in Livorno, Italy in 1933 in which a man is reading a newspaper whilst his face if wrapped by a curtain. In fact I was expecting the photograph to be taken by him.
Another thing that captured my attention was the cautious composition which I felt gave great depth to the photo. The woman’s body is perfectly aligned with the walls shadow and fits perfectly in between the space the wall creates, almost giving the illusion that the wall is completely flat. Even though in the title it says “plaza” Inge only shows us a very narrow portion of the space making it seem like another typical spanish street.
The traditional black attire combined with the pose made me think of a figure praying. What makes it more serious and mystic is the fact the face is hidden, unknown.

Olimpia Piccolo

L1 photography, University of the West of England


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