Nacio Jan Brown chose this photograph—a low-angled shot of a caped young man looking off and a young woman acknowledging the camera—as the cover of his book Rag Theater.
The androgynous pair is evocatively and serendipitously framed: on the left by a graffiti middle finger and on the right by question marks. That framing sets up a tension—between a spirit of self-assertion and a spirit of questioning—that plays out in the separate postures and expressions of the two young people captured in the photograph.
Of the photograph, Brown wrote (in 1975): “This picture and the preceding one are two of the twenty pictures in this book taken in front of the building that housed Rag Theatre. Most of the kids would spend all afternoon hanging around on this one stretch of sidewalk, occasionally walking across the street to the Med for something to drink, or going next door to the bakery for something to eat. In 1972, this building, which for years had been many things to many people, was demolished by the city. The lot stands empty today.”