Annemarie Heinrich’s Surreal Parenting

THE DAILY PIC: At MALBA, Heinrich shows the pleasures and perils of motherhood.


THE DAILY PIC (#1542): Ever since I saw this 1947 photo by Annemarie Heinrich, at the MALBA museum in Buenos Aires, it has been one of my favorite images of parenting. Heinrich stands in adult solitude as her two kids, become almost monstrous, revolve around her. She’s the one in power, since she’s at the center of the image and the space and is in control of the camera, the tool of her trade, and yet that doesn’t seem to free her from the stringent demands of motherhood. The image seems a perfect expression of the challenges a working mother must have felt in an era when work and mothering were seen as opposites. (It also seems to speak of the front-and-center space that boys were allowed to take up in a family, versus the recession expected of girls.)

Then there’s the flip side of parenting, expressed in the photo below, which is all about the pleasures kids give and the youth they can bring out in adults.

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