Artist: Walker Evans (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1903–1975 New Haven, Connecticut)
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: 16.0 x 11.0 cm (6 5/16 x 4 5/16 in.)
Credit Line: Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number: 1987.1100.59
Rights and Reproduction: © Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Evans was fascinated by the vernacular language of signs-billboards, theater marquees, hand-painted storefronts, graffiti, and rusted tin roadside signs. As in this picture of a tattered movie poster, he often photographed these found artifacts head-on, so that the flat surface of the sign seems to occupy the same plane as the surface of the photographic image. Here, Evans's careful cropping heightens the mystery of the original poster image by isolating the couple's terror from its source and focusing our attention on the large rip that seems to slash through the woman's head.