1990s. Like Paolo Roversi, Deborah Turbeville has a strong kinship with the Pictorialist movement in her disenchantment with technical perfection. As well as blurring her focus, she likes to damage her photos by, for example, scratching their surfaces or tearing their edges.
For all their differences (not least the angst that some of them exhibit), her subjects have in common with Paolo’s a certain elusive quality. In her book, Wallflower, she writes:
The photographs are like the women you see in them. A little out of balance with their surroundings, waiting anxiously for the right person to find them, and thinking that perhaps they are out of their time. They move forward clutching their past about them, as if the ground of the present may fall away. Their exteriors seem walled up and introverted the interiors endless…airless. The very print quality reflects something in the women that is hesitant, a little faded and scratched; or that, having emerged into a light too harsh, stand frozen in space, overexposed.