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Lady in the Mirror photo by Réhahn in Hoi An Vietnam

The Artist’s Inspiration

It was a serendipitous moment that brought Réhahn to take this photograph. He’d spent several hours on his motorbike, riding outside of Hoi An and he needed to take a break. A woman and her daughter were outside of their home and they invited him in to rest.

He was charmed by their kindness and asked if he could take the elderly mother’s portrait. She was shy but she agreed.

As she leaned towards the mirror to try to arrange her hair, Réhahn noticed her smile and instantly years were erased. He thought of the famous book “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. In the book, the young man never gets old, instead his painted portrait ages as his humanity disappears.

Réhahn’s “Lady in the Mirror” has exactly the opposite effect. The woman’s youth is revitalized through her reflection.

“Youthful beauty versus the invisibility of old age: these are just concepts created within our societies. In this photograph, the lines and details of the face in the mirror challenge what we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. They create a different version of beauty, one that is earned with years and experience.” - Réhahn

The Artist’s Message

“Lady in the Mirror” is layered with aspects of philosophy. The intention is to make the viewer think about their perceptions of beauty and youth. What’s real? What has been learned?

The mirror is a powerful symbol in psychology and literature. In the psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s study of archetypes, the mirror represents the inner world and the boundary between the conscious and the subconscious. In literature, mirrors have many meanings from mystical and spiritual beauty to the illumination of hard truths.

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“Lady in the Mirror” is a conversation piece that can be successfully placed in a space such as a library, living room or office to spark discussion. The green background in the Fine Art photo is vibrant but remains neutral when paired with beige, white or gray. The purple highlight in the woman’s scarf works in harmony with the green to create an interesting contrast.