A series of sepia-toned nudes are assembled in a single photograph. Three rectangular areas display variations of the same character in a subtle parody of stances, covering her ears, eyes, and mouth. In each stance, the figure is similar: her hips are square to the viewer, she portrays a gesture with her hands, and her face is mostly visible.
The predominant differences between each posture are the arms and face. In one image her face is partially hidden, in another her breasts are partially hidden. The character of the image is neither explicit nor modest, she makes no effort to hide her nudity nor to eroticize it.
In the background are pilgrims on the steps at the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi India. The background image is from a family vacation, photographed by my mother, most likely as a reference for a painting. This bizarre encounter between eastern and western imagery is tied together by my experiences. I grew up traveling between cultures, collecting mental images that combine in peculiar ways.
The distant image is visually unifying and adds complexity to the negative space around the three sepia-toned nudes. The intricate background not only frames the other rectangles but also invites the viewer to inspect it further. Subtle details are mixed into the overlay of images, producing a tangled texture of new images. The details are somewhat elusive, offering little additional information. In some social contexts, it is acceptable to celebrate the female nude, while in others this is frowned upon.
The composition of sepia-toned nudes relies on strong vertical and horizontal lines, dividing the main area into three unequal portions. The larger center panel is also lighter, drawing attention to the pose with the protruding elbows. The narrow divisions between these panels emphasize the foreground figures as dominant. The overlay effect creates two distinct picture planes, giving the image a graphical feeling. This achieves a comparison of scale and depth between the two worlds.