Since the late 1970s Faigenbaum's work has evolved from intimate portraiture to more enigmatic meditations on the role of the individual amid the depthless intricacies of history, social structure, and spiritual experience. This lifesize image suggests that the artist and his subject have turned still more elusively inward. The hermetic simplicity of this gentle young waiter in a Prague beer hall impels the kind of deep empathetic engagement one feels for a Giacometti figure or a nameless Kafka protagonist. His gaze suggests a range of attentive attitudes (abstracted or vacant, dreaming or watching tables), while the horizontal division of the wall behind him might just as easily be read as an empty landscape and his isolation as that of a monumental statue.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Signed in black ink, verso BR
Artist; [Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs: A Decade of Collecting," June 5, 2001–September 4, 2001.