July 5, 2011

Strauss-Kahn Perp Pix: A Second Look

Strauss Kahn waiting arraignment hearing

At his arraignment hearing slipped into history, I felt sorry I didn’t post this wonderful portrait of Dominique Strauss-Kahn sitting ruefully on that bench.

Strauss Kahn arraignment bench longer view

(Actually, it’s this second version that stuck in my mind, but a cropped version removing the policeman.) When I first saw it, it seemed to be speaking as much to extreme wealth, privilege, the international financial meltdown and the public’s intense resentment over same as it also purported to capture a first class scumbag finally nailed for sexual assault.

Today, with the case coming completely unglued, the occasion providing ammunition to culturally call out the U.S. and politically reconstitute a man with profound issues involving women, sex and power, it’s interesting going back to that photo story and thinking about the other images.

Strauss Kahn perp shot car

Strauss Kahn arraignment lens

Strauss Kahn arraignment cameras

Perhaps the larger edit of courtroom photos raises the question, how many ways can you capture a perp … as well as capture the visual media capturing the perp.

Strauss Kahn court 2

For a more complex photo of what’s turning out to be a more complex situation, however, I like this shot quite a bit. On the one hand, I can imagine the photographer thinking he caught something ironic: the perp cleverly juxtaposed with a female in the background, the expression perhaps a facsimile of the bon vivant in action.

On the other hand, maybe what we’re seeing here — if Strauss-Kahn and the Sofitel maid were more interested, in their own perverse ways, in doing each other — is truly a winning smile.

Arraignment slideshow.

(photo: Richard Drew-Pool/Getty Images. caption: International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn appears for his arraignment in federal court May 16, 2011 in New York City. International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arraigned today and is being held without bail on charges of sexually attacking a maid at a Manhattan hotel.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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