5. Kim Brough’s sitting would be her last. She was an NYU freshman planning a term paper on my work and came over to interview me. During the time we spent together, I noticed how the light from my front-room windows created this back-lit, almost halo effect on her profile, so I immediately reached for my camera and clipped off a few shots. Later, I would walk her to her job house-cleaning someone’s apartment near the campus. We’d done this terrific interview and agreed to meet again in a few days. This was not to be. Upon arriving at her dorm later in the week, I learned from her roommate that Kim had died under very suspicious circumstances. As the story goes, he employer had seduced her into taking a drug that caused her to OD. Gone in an instant. He became a missing person on the police blotter. I never knew the outcome. The film was still in my camera and felt her soul was there too, hermetically sealed in darkness. After a couple of weeks, it was time to let go and so the film was developed. This portrait remains as the rebirth of a stilled moment.

Souls: Photographs by Gerard Malanga | Through April 11 at the Pierre Menard Gallery | 10 Arrow Street, Cambridge | Hours: 10:30–6 daily; closed Mondays

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