A Mirror Light, El Paso

In Noritoshi Hirakawa’s photograph A Mirror Light, El Paso, a woman looks at herself in a mirror while lifting up a ruffled costume revealing her pantyhose. Hirakawa: “(The image is of) a woman checking her face in the mirror of an elevator hall while waiting for an elevator.” It is a typical sample of Hirakawa’s work bearing many of the characteristics that define his photography: a single female figure is depicted in an undefined space; she is photographed in an insinuating and yet unpurposely salacious pose, appearing unaware of her explicit sexuality. Her face is partially obscured creating an exaggerated sense of objectification. All these traits lead to an expansive potential for personal interpretation, opening up the photograph to numerous questions about the whereabouts, identity, purpose and future of the character in the photograph - and to infinite explanations, each entirely dependent on the (erotic) imagination of the beholder.

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