Diane Arbus: San Fransisco and Los Angeles by Robert Silberman

Silberman, R., (2004). Diane Arbus. San Francisco and Los Angeles [online]. Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd. Available from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20073550?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents [Accessed on 16th of December 2015, at 14:12].

“the photographs of the mentally disabled leave important issues unresolved.”

Sometimes the subjects wear halloween costumes and masks, or no masks at all and in their everyday clothing. “expressing a peculiar blend of innocence and experience.”

“The photographs pose questions as to whether the subjects know what it means to be photographed – no knowledge then no collaboration – and of exactly what Arbus though she was doing in photographing them.”

“What Arbus did more than three decades ago might not be acceptable now.” PG 4

“Susan Sontag was not wrong to be bothered by the gushy terms Arbus favoured, such as ‘terrific’, or to ask whether Arbus was slumming to escape her privileged background.”

“Forty or so years later, Arbus’s subjects – freaks, transvestites, nudists, and assorted curiosities – may now seem tame. The novelty may have worn off the notion that ordinary American life is as strange as a carnival sideshow.”

“Nevertheless, the subtlety as well as the intensity of Arbus’s best photographs, with their frozen exchange of gazes and their assault on the division between public and private, is rarely matched in contemporary culture.”


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