©Hans Namuth Ltd./National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution/Art Resource, NY

Like The Expulsion (see photo of The Expulsion), The Diner was created by wrapping plaster-soaked medical bandages (the type used for setting broken limbs) around live models, as shown in this photo, of the artist at work. Segal usually makes separate casts of the body parts and then pieces them together. This technique, which Segal has used since 1961, allows for greater definition of facial and body features than that found in his earlier works (compare with 1958’s The Legend of Lot). Segal describes himself as “a bit like a movie or theater director in eliciting the facial expressions and bodily gestures.” Segal’s staged scenes force the viewer to focus on a particular dramatic event at a particular moment (whether a woman beginning to pour a cup of coffee, as shown in the following image, or Lot awakening from a night of incest) and from a particular angle, with certain elements brought to the foreground with spotlights.