What gets lost in our obsession with fixing bodies that appear different from the norm? One answer to this question can be found in the work of Mattias Buchinger, the Enlightenment-era artist whose drawings are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through April 11.
As a child, I repeatedly read about Wadlow's enormity in the first several pages of the annual Guinness World Records books. There were only a few images, but they were powerful, and they planted the seed for my lifelong curiosity into human anomalies.
In 1997, a hauntingly beautiful and richly uncommon musical called Side Show opened on Broadway to critical acclaim. The show was based on the lives of the famous conjoined real-life twins who were headliners in the 1930s vaudeville circuit.
I saw it first. Well, not quite. The rapturous critical reception that has greeted the revival of Side Show on Broadway takes me back, way back, to a demonstration of Side Show's unique power that I witnessed firsthand quite some time ago.
As a curiosity, full of salacious possibility, or as the heartbreaking tale of two women, unprepared for independence after success, Bound By Flesh is a humanizing and powerful must-see recounting of the rise and fall of these fascinating women.