Illusions

The Afghan Girl stares out at you from the cover of the magazine. In the language of portrait criticism, she returns your gaze. We’re so used to seeing pictures of people looking back at us that we don’t notice the illusion – that she’s looking at Steve McCurry’s camera, not at us.

We might argue that this is less illusory in modern times, as people are so used to having their pictures taken, that they do – indirectly – gaze at the viewer.

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