There is a photo Diane shot in 1963, of a set of teenage triplets in their bedroom somewhere in New Jersey, one of the first in her series of “human multiples.” They appear identical, all 3 with curly, black, shoulder-length hair, all 3 dressed in matching clothing — the same white headband and white shirt (buttoned to the neck), the same dark skirt. They are seated in a row on one of 3 identical beds, each with a country-style white headboard and a quilted comforter; a thin, ruffled curtain, like a tiered skirt, covers the window — all of the details suburban-tranquil and suburban-satisfied.
But it’s in the faces on these look-alike sisters that this photograph takes a mythic turn. From left to right, their emotions read wise, happy, sad, their differences as blunt as a row of ancient theater masks. It’s as if these 3 young women are aspects of one person — one young woman who, as Whitman put it, contains multitudes. Diane...
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