Laura Jean Zito
"The Odd and Even Couple"
I was walking down Bleecker Street in New York City's Greenwich Village. As I crossed Sullivan Street, I spotted this couple at an outdoor cafe. I "grabbed" a shot, then asked them if I could take a few more. They agreed somewhat reticently but not defensively. I shot about five or six frames. Upon examining each frame carefully at a later date, I realized that, though the images appeared more or less the same, a slight pursing of their lips had taken place that replaced the inviting quality of the first expressions when they were taken unawares with an almost sardonic one. The difference is ever so subtle, but reminds me how difficult it is to manufacture a smile, and how trained experts can always tell as different muscles are used in a real smile than in an artificial one. As I examined other series of shots I had taken of people, invariably that first shot is always a tad more natural. Now I try to be as ready as possible before my first approach. This couple engages in their differences by adopting each other's manner of dress. The coffee table serves as a line of delineation, below which the man and the woman are both sporting blousy white slacks, fishnet stockings and high heels, and above which they adorn themselves with large sunglasses, fists full of rings like brass knuckles, bobbed haircuts and mannish black shirts. She on the right wears white sunglasses and he on the left black. They have achieved a kind of equality that they both seem at ease with, and that makes us all think about how tied we are to prevailing attitudes of attire.
Biography: Laura Jean Zito, Harvard University Honors graduate, worked years as a photographer for NBC Network News, NYC, and as unit still photographer on feature films, classics such as "Breakin'". Published in numerous magazines including "Cultural Survival Quarterly," and books, such as "Guide to Great Pictures," she is working on several book projects for upcoming self-publication.
Ms. Zito curated exhibitions at her gallery, Fotoforum, at 575 5th Avenue at 47th Street, NYC, for several years, and a group show at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires:...