A Photographer, Her Muse, and the Hunger for Fame

Last year, the photographer Elizabeth Bick met her muse on an uptown F train. The woman was older than Bick and thin, with a long face, sharp cheekbones, a strong chin, and heavy eyelids. She was made up as if ready to perform onstage, and wore an every-color-of-the-rainbow outfit. Just before arriving at her stop, Bick asked the woman, whose name is Linda Leven, if she’d like to be photographed, and handed her a card. Weeks passed before the photographer received a response: a headshot...

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