A new photography book titled “ma poupee japonaise” arrived in the post the other day, sent by German-Italian artist Mario A. After skimming through pictures of an apparently life-sized wooden doll posed mostly unclothed in a variety of private and public places, I uploaded a brief note about the publication to an art Web site. A few days later, Mario sent an e-mail, which read in part, “that you introduced my latest work as a wooden doll, makes me very happy . . . (and honored). Hope you will enjoy my show.”

I didn’t quite grasp his meaning, and only realized last week at his Mizuma Art Gallery opening party that I had made a big mistake: These were photographs not of a lifelike doll, but of a doll-like woman. So much for my discerning critical eye.

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