Saturday, September 03, 2011

This better be good.

I have always been fascinated by Diane Arbus and her photographs.  I have written about her several times over the years in my blog here, here, here.

This is the first  Diane Arbus photograph I saw, reproduced as a tiny stamp sized image in Time Magazine in an article about her first show in 1971 when I was 17.  The image just blew me away.  Though I had seen a lot of great photographs I'd never seen anything like this.  It transcended the objective lens in a way I would have never thought possible with a camera.  A camera took photographs of what was in front of the lens the photographer just made sure everything was in focus and properly exposed.  You found the great subject and photographed it.  End of story.  Here though was something that seemed to reveal way more than what was in front of the camera. Almost like an image captured from a dream or the "minds eye".  Who was this person who took this picture and how did they do it? She would be dead in a month and at that time she was not that well known outside of New York.  It would be another year before her first collection of work would be published and over 10 years before a biography about her would offer a little more about her life.  A few years after her biography was published a new collection of her images was put out of her work done as a professional photographer and a show of hers was held at the Portland Art Museum. Years after that her estate released 'Revelations' in conjunction with a retrospective show of her work.  This most recent work is referred to as a  "Psychological Biography" and perhaps will shed more light on my questions about this woman I consider one of the 20th centuries most interesting people.  It seems a tad thin for such a huge subject but I am both anticipating and dreading reading it.


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