Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Diane Arbus
Girl sitting on her bed with her shirt off, 1968

All the books, all the exhibitions, and all the musings about her suicidal death lead me often to wonder whether her images would resonate such depth and sadness if we remained none the wiser?

In other words if we knew nothing of the history of her life and more importantly her sad end would the work still have this profound weight ?

I think you would have to say it would, it does.

Her vision and the body of work she created is so singular. To this day it still intrigues and emanates such an aura because of it's strength as an image.

So many theories and critics point out the fact that her work; these portraits she took are simply reflections of her, the dwarfs, the sword swallower- all her.
To an extent I agree, but having read a lot of her own writing I sense that her quest was to reveal and get to the inner core of all these people. Repeated shoots and frames, and as much time she possibly could get so as to capture the real nature of her subject in just one still image.

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