Walker Evans American
Not on view
Between 1938 and 1941 Evans produced a remarkable series of portraits in the New York City subways. With a 35mm Contax camera strapped to his chest, its lens peeking out between two buttons of his winter coat, Evans was able to photograph his fellow passengers surreptitiously and at close range. Although the setting was public, he found that his subjects, unposed and lost in their thoughts, displayed a constantly shifting medley of moods and expressions-by turns curious, bored, amused, despondent, dreamy, and dyspeptic. "The guard is down and the mask is off," he remarked. "Even more than in lone bedrooms (where there are mirrors), people's faces are in naked repose down in the subway."