Herb Ritts, Versace Veiled Dress, El Mirage, 1990.
I chose this image because it evoked feelings in me of a struggle between the oppressors and those they oppress. I see a woman, fighting a force that is slowly consuming her. There is a striking contrast between this force and the background of the image, which implies to me that whatever it is the woman is fighting is setting her apart from the rest of her world. It is causing her loneliness. This image perfectly represents the struggle with depression that Virginia Woolf faced in The Hours and how her illness separated her physically and mentally from her family and the world around her, ultimately ending in her demise.
Kenneth Paul Block, Eight female models in fall coats from different French fashion houses.
This picture is vibrant, dynamic, and chaotic, everything that New York is to Clarissa, and that London is to Virginia in The Hours. I love the multitude of colors and the layering of perspective that gives depth to this piece by introducing some of the models up close and some as farther away. It represents the allure of life and the youthful spirit that Virginia seeks in London, and it represents the almost familiar and comforting chaos that Clarissa finds in New York.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Carmen Gaudin in the Artist’s Studio, 1888.
I chose this as the final image in The Hours gallery because as soon as I saw the picture I knew that this painting had the character and spirit of Clarissa. There is a certain knowledge in her eyes that’s conveying something between her and the observer; a level of intimacy that is not unlike the peek into Clarissa’s life Cunningham gives us when he allows us to be privy to her innermost thoughts. This woman has a reserved quality, and yet a bold desire for something that I imagine as her youth, or maybe someone from her past. The woman expressed to me all that I associate with Clarissa and everything that I feel about her character, so I decided that I must include it as the final image in this gallery.