Most well known for her awkward photographs of people on the fringes of society, Diane Arbus is an example of someone who worked hard at her craft, pursuing commercial jobs alongside her personal work. You may recall that we mentioned her last week, with regards to getting permission and support. She photographed some of New York’s ‘elite’, as well as its ‘freaks’, treating them with equal respect and distance.
The Big Deal:
Arbus’ photographs are some of the most striking images of strangers one is ever to come across. Her portraits treat societal norms as unusual, while taking intimate and sometimes sympathetic portraits of those society tends to deem oddities; her famed subjects include dwarfs, giants, transvestites, nudists, and circus performers.
Life In Brief:
Born to wealthy parents in New York, 1923. Is encouraged into an art career. Marries childhood sweetheart Allan Arbus in 1941 and the two start commercial photography business, shooting ads for her father’s department store. In 1956 she quits the business, begins shooting assignments for Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar while continuing her personal projects. Is recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship in 1963, and again three years later. In 1971 Arbus takes her own life; likely related to depression.
http://diane-arbus-photography.com/ (A really beautiful online book of photographs)