Blue Nude, by Elizabeth Rosner. [rating:4/5]
It’s about a painter and a woman who models nude for art classes. He’s German, she’s Jewish. He has a studio in Point Reyes. She lives in The City. San Francisco.
I want to remember these passages:
I was married for a while, she says. To a photographer.
Danzig snorts at the idea. They always want to put frames around things, he says. They pretend they’re only telling you what they claim is out there in so-called real life, but really they’re getting in the way just as much as painters are.
His photos began getting smaller while the white linen mats around them kept getting larger, surrounding his images with more and more white space. Merav envisioned herself shrinking inside a vast blizzard and dreamed about Gabe building a house with empty rooms, windows too high to look out from. He said he framed things, people, so that he could make them more visible, believing even as he cut off its edges that he was making a thing more real, more seeable. She started wearing clothes in all the colors he couldn’t see to camouflage herself in his landscape, disappear in front of his eyes.
The walls of their apartment showed a collection of Merav in parts, close-ups of her feet, hands, hip bones, shoulder blades. The one exception lay in a single photo that showed her entire, taken from behind her back. In a wide-open field stood a wooden picture frame the size of a doorway, balancing upright as if by magic in the middle of nothing. And Merav was walking through it, her arms held out to her sides, her fingertips just brushing the edges of the frame. She was stepping out of it and walking away.