Addict (drugaddict) wrote,


It’s always said about Elliott Erwitt that he knows how to tell a joke, which is true of course. He has told so many good ones over the years, choosing among them is tough, but one of my favorites is the 1954 photograph he shot in Las Vegas of a dour grandmother in glasses yanking the gun barrel of a painted plaster gunslinger that is really a slot machine. The tacky setting, in the glare of lights, and the deadpan humor — the plaster cowboy grimacing, the matron, icy cold, like a portly Clint Eastwood with bobby pins, an arrow and the word “push” painted on a glass door in the foreground and directly pointing at her head — lifts the image from the level of sight gag to something approaching an American paradigm. This is Mr. Erwitt’s deeper, sometimes obscured, virtue: to show us our world in a tender way that does not deny its darker side. 

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