I know this woman. I didn't take her picture, but I know who did. I love the portrait. She's beautiful in the way Marilyn Monroe was in her later photos. Even tattered, or maybe especially when tattered, Monroe's presence was raw. And there's something beautiful about being that tired, too tired to even be hungry. It's generous without meaning to be, because you're not holding anything back. Which, I know, is putting a positive spin on a woman who suffered (not talking about Monroe now). You can see the sadness, but she was very spirited and alive too. I miss her.
I ran across a note from the online zine, LensCulture, in their feature by Vivian Keulards for her Elusive Beauty project (photo portraits of red heads).
Vivian Keulards: "They will likely be extinct in the next 100 years: red headed children. Only one percent of the human population carries this unique red head gene. For years now those children take my breath away; the orange/red hair, their pale skin with clusters of freckles and their bright light eyes. At times they even seem to be translucent. When they look into my eyes I'm staggered. Sometimes I even feel intimidated. Their fragile and sensitive appearance is often accompanied by their very powerful and strong willed character. I experienced it myself and this surprising combination makes them even more exclusive to me."
Me again: By the time I knew her, the woman in this photo, she wasn't so fragile, but you could tell she had been. And, yes, she had red hair, fair skin, and freckles.