Friday, August 9, 2013

Diane Arbus: Photographer Of the Forgotten

Diane Arbus (1923-1971)



This photographer was noted for her unusual subject matter. She photographed the "forgotten" people institutionalized, with defects, unusual qualities. Her work, in black and white, gave a slightly jarring and shocking jolt to the viewer, followed by an acceptance and peace with that which is not "normal." Had she not chosen to work with these subjects, we might have missed the chronicling of all people.




Diane worried about being pigeon holed as the photographer of the freaks, but her stark photographing quality and compositions made her a memorable artist.



Arbus committed suicide and the Nicole Kidman movie, "Fur," fictionalized her interesting existence.





Tragically, a lifetime of battling depression and mood swings, she was found in a bathtub, having taken barbiturates and having slit her wrists with a razor.  She was 48 years old.  married, with children.


Her work was well recognized with lots of achievements in the field, but ultimately, she might be most associated with her cataloging of those who had no place in what was considered "normal."


There is something about photography art versus paint and sculpture that fascinates me. Most artists show the world the way it makes them feel or the way they wish it was. But, photographers show you how they view it, what they find noteworthy in the reality that we live in. Diane's art said much of her inner eye and exposed her soul in a raw, awkward way that said, "the real world is not pretty, nor is it threatening, it simply is a dance of the awkward."


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