Helen Levitt practiced photography with a small handheld camera on the streets of New York, making tender depictions of ordinary city people, and especially children. The street was a stage for her young subjects, upon which they played games, performed improvisational dramas, and made fantastic, untutored chalk drawings such as this figure with double pupils and a hovering crown. For Levitt, graffiti and children's drawings were present-day emblems of a pre-civilized, magical art, both spontaneous and archetypal.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed on print, verso UC: "n.y. CIRCA 1945 // Helen Levitt"; signed on print, verso LC: "Helen Levitt"; inscribed on print, verso C: "6 [in box]"; inscribed on print, verso C: "[5 pointed star]"; inscribed on print, verso UL: "RF"; inscribed on print, verso CL: "OA 80507"; inscribed on print, verso LR: "106+ // ER";
Helen Levitt; [Prakapas Gallery, Bronxville, New York]; John C. Waddell, New York (June 19, 1980)
This photograph was titled "Three Kids on a Stoop" and dated 1940 in The New Vision.