Famous Photographers - Diane Arbus
Famous Photographers >> Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus (1923-1971) was taught photography by her husband, Allan, a photographer for the US Army. Arbus and her husband ran a successful fashion photography studio for twenty years before they separated in 1959. After the separation, Arbus worked extensively as a photojournalist, her work appearing in magazines including Esquire, Harper's Bazaar and the Sunday Times magazine.
The work for which Arbus is most known for today is her photographs depicting outsiders, such as tranvestites, dwarves, giants, and prostitutes, as well as ordinary citizens in poses and settings that convey a disturbing uncanniness. Her voyeuristic approach does not, however, demean her subjects. In most portraits the subjects are on their own turf, seemingly comfortable. It is the viewer who is made to feel uncomfortable by the subject's acceptance of their "freakishness".
Although her earlier work was created using the 35mm format, by the early 1960s Arbus had adopted the Rolleiflex medium format twin-lens reflex. This provided a square Aspect ratio (image) and higher image resolution.
She became a Guggenheim fellow in the sixties and taught photography at colleges in New York and Amherst, MA, before ending her own life in 1971.
On the Web
The Photography of Diane Arbus by Sara Ironman.