Wasser showed Babitz the proofs, and she ultimately selected one in which she was turned away from the camera, her face obscured by her bobbed hair. At first, she wanted to conceal her identity from the public, though she eventually opened up about her participation in the famous photograph. The choice, as Lili Anolik points out in her Babitz biography, Hollywood’s Eve (2019), gives the picture additional strangeness as it simultaneously depicts shyness and exhibitionism, a plea for both attention and anonymity.
Anolik writes that Babitz “wasn’t just model and muse, passive and pliable, but artist and instigator, wicked and subversive.” As Babitz told her biographer, “Walter thought he was running the show, and I finally got to run something.”Throughout the following decades, she published seven books. Both her fiction and non-fiction glistened with memoristic detail about her Hollywood surroundings, passionate love affairs, and colorful friends. Without help from Wasser’s framing or Duchamp’s fame, Babitz harnessed the power of her sexuality and fearlessness into art that was all her own.