"Donna Ferrato"

by Vince Aletti

Donna Ferrato

The New Yorker



Ferrato is known for the awful, intimate images of domestic abuse that she published in her 1991 book, “Living with the Enemy.” One of those pictures, of a man slapping his wife, is included here, with a group of photographs from the nineteen-seventies and eighties that explore intimacy and abuse of another sort: encounters, both public and private, among the sexual adventurers known as swingers. A woman pushes her white pump into a man’s face; he sucks on the stiletto heel. The couple involved in the slap is shown in a harrowing series of color shots that look like the nightmare dissolution sequence of a period sexploitation movie. The work tilts more toward Russ Meyer than toward Brassai, but it’s still powerful stuff. Through June 29. (Higher Pictures, 764 Madison Ave., at 65th St. 212-249-6100.)

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