woensdag 20 augustus 2008

Evelyn McHale

This got to be the image of the most beautiful suicide. It's the picture of Evelyn McHale, a few minutes right after her jump from the Empire State Building in 1947. The elegancy of her body laying in the wrecked car, like a model laying in silk sheets, struck obviously many people. The picture appeared a couple of weeks later in Time Magazine with this caption:

On May Day, just after leaving her fiancé, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale wrote a note. 'He is much better off without me ... I wouldn't make a good wife for anybody,' ... Then she crossed it out. She went to the observation platform of the Empire State Building. Through the mist she gazed at the street, 86 floors below. Then she jumped. In her desperate determination she leaped clear of the setbacks and hit a United Nations limousine parked at the curb. Across the street photography student Robert Wiles heard an explosive crash. Just four minutes after Evelyn McHale's death Wiles got this picture of death's violence and its composure.

Years later Andy Warhol used Wiles photo to create a piece.

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