© Bertrand Huet. Tutti Images, 2022


Coney Island Bather, New York
Lisette Model
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper
Printed area size: 49,3 × 39,1 cm
Paper size: 50,5 × 40,3 cm
ca. 1939-1941
Vintage print
Born: Viena, 1901
Died: Nueva York, 1983

© Bertrand Huet. Tutti Images, 2022


In 1938 Lisette Model and her husband, the Russian painter Evsa Model, traveled to New York to visit his sister. However, the persecution of Jews in Europe led them to relocate to the city permanently. There, Model entered a new period during which she began taking photographs of storefront window reflections and the bustling streets, while maintaining her interest in anonymous and solitary figures. The most productive years of her career would come shortly after as she collaborated with several magazines, particularly Harper’s Bazaar, where she published several of her most renowned series.

Coney Island Bather, New York was the first photograph that Model published and became one of her best known and most powerful images. The woman portrayed, who is propping her hands up on her knees in a youthful attitude, occupies the entire frame. A sign of the photographer’s identity, this radical framing highlights the rotundity of the body’s volumes, contrasting it with the water that is crashing and foaming under the woman. The same bather is also present in a second image that depicts her lying on the shore in the manner of a classical odalisque instead of being depicted in a revealing moment.


© Bertrand Huet. Tutti Images, 2022

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