Photography: Diane Arbus

“Boy with a Toy Grenade in Central Park” (1962)

Diane Arbus  March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971)

Diane Arbus’ work can be a bit disturbing. “Boy with a Toy Grenade in Central Park”  has always completely freaked me out – is the kid insane, retarded, evil? Seeing the contact sheet is a bit of a let down in that it reveals the secret, no evil, no insanity – just a goofy skinny kid making faces and playing in the park-  it still packs a hell of a punch though.

Diane usually photographed people on the outside of society, prostitutes, dwarves, circus freaks, giants, etc. She worried that she might be pigeon-holed “as a photographer of freaks”. The title seems apt but she was so much more then that. Her piece “Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey”, 1967 is one of the most recognisable photographs in the world and recently sold at auction for well over $500,000. Diane commited suicide in 1971 at the age of 48.


Posted on May 31, 2011, in Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I see what you mean about loosing a bit of a punch. I wonder if she would have hide these contact sheets so no one could see if she was still around.
    I watched the Genius of Photography on Youtube by BBC that has a bit on her. You see more “behinds the scene” picture.
    Great Post 🙂 Thanks.

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