A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know. – Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus, an American photographer, began taking pictures in advertising and fashion in the 1940s. Her husband, Allan Arbus, was also a photographer. Together they made a good tandem and their works appeared in various magazines.
Arbus shifted into the world of independent photography in the late 1950s. Although she was reserved and timid, she pursued street photography and took photographs of strangers she met in weird circuses, eerie morgues, grimy hotels, mental institutions, and other bizarre & unconventional locales. She became famous for her eccentric. medium-format photographs which portrayed offbeat and unusual subjects such as nudists, prostitutes, transvestites. She frequently photographed “freaks.” For her, these extraordinary human beings were born with their trauma and having surpassed this challenge made them aristocrats. She adored them.
Her photographs had unrefined quality and but they had a sharp impact on everyone. She became one of the most influential and original photographers of the 20th Century. Arbus had numerous exhibitions and her works were featured in different museums. She also became friends with other famous photographers, like Walker Evans and Richard Avedon.
As her photographic career heightened, her marriage became a struggle and ended in 1969. Wretchedly, her recurring depression consumed her and she committed suicide two years later. She was 48 years young.
Arbus’ strange collection of photographs remains to be a matter of strong interest. Her character was loosely portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the imaginary and fictitious film called Fur.
Which of these Diane Arbus photographs strike your liking the most? What other classic urban photographers would you like to be written about? Read more about the Best of the Best Series.
basterda is a member of the Lomography team in Manila. She has been dealing with your Customer Service concerns since August of 2010 and is now also contributing to the magazine. Influential Photographs is also one of her ongoing series for the Lifestyle section.