From the interview with Lissa Rivera for C41 Magazine:
[C41]: Did you have any specific references or sources of inspiration in mind while working on Beautiful Boy?
[LR]: The work is very much about the history of the reproduced image and the power of photography to change culture and affect perceptions of social expectations. I am interested in the ideals of many different eras and often combine references to several time periods in one image. For instance, my photograph “Motel, Virginia” combines traces of 19th-century Postmortem photography, an Edward Steichen photo of the tragic 1940s film star Frances Farmer, Alfred Hitchcock hotel scenes, and Sissy Spacek in Terrence Malick’s 1973 film “Badlands.” I was attracted to the idea of the hotel in cinema history—particularly the idea of a woman alone in a hotel or on the road—and the implication of danger or even foreboding death for young women who leave the domestic realm.