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Thread: Diane Arbus

  1. #21
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert8x10
    I'm not against Diane's work. I'm just so shocked by the big (Really big)publicity push going on? I was watching the CBS Sunday Morning program and they had a piece about Diane Arbus. It's like everywhere, I turn another Arbus article ad. It's a well organized campaign. Its covered the newsprint, the airwaves and other public communications.
    What bothers me is the selling or Blasting into the pubilc of psyche. The hard sell always turns me off.
    Robert,

    Why are you shocked? She is recognized as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century. Her recognition and promotion now is no worse or better than what has occured in the past with other seminal photogrphers such as Avedon or Adams.

    Don Bryant

  2. #22

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    The current media interest has little to do with Diane Arbus' photography. It has to do with however they can sensationalize the subject matter and the artist for the "Fear Factor" audiences.

    I've admired her work for a long time. The most worn book I own is the Arbus Aperture monograph. I don't read her work as being exploitation any more than Nachteway exploits war or Salgado exploits poverty or Adams exploited the national parks.

  3. #23

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    The question was asked about her suicide. Without getting to graphic, she was found in a bathtub and had bled to death. She was found to have taken a good amount of barbituites. This was in 1971.

    Although, not my favorite photographer, I admired the hell out her ability to become connected with people and photograph them.

  4. #24
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    Nicole Kidman will be an excellent choice for this part. She is an avid, and good, photographer with a strong interest in historical photographers. Having met her at a Museum of Photographic Art dinner for Ruth Bernhart I have to say she is astounding in her knowledge of photographers of the 20th Century. I am looking forward to seeing her in this part.
    Jim

  5. #25
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    Isn't Nicole Kidman a little too tall to play Arbus, who was of small stature?
    Concerning Arbus' suicide... she suffured from depression for many years. Her mother also had this affliction as well as her brother (I think).
    If you haven't read her biography, some of her work may appear explotive. But she was an extemely shy person and to approach some of her subjects, she had to really dig deep to get the courage to do so.

    gene
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  6. #26

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    I haven't really made up my mind about what I think of Arbis' photographs. Was her motive to incite pity for the subject by the viewer? To reinforce the feeling we all should have at times: "There, but for the grace of God, goes me." After reading "Revolations" (but not the biography) and seeing the contact sheets I know that my initial impressions were wrong (she was not threatening to the little sissy kid with the handgranade, but he was playing around hamming it up). My heart goes out to the young couple with the baby girl and little Down's syndrome boy -- what a hard life they're going to lead instead of the joy of watching their children grow up.
    I just don't know what to make of her work. Is it great photography, or just great schlock? Freaks presented in photographs rather than in person in carnival side shows?
    I don't know.

  7. #27
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papagene
    ... she suffured from depression for many years. Her mother also had this affliction as well as her brother (I think).
    If you haven't read her biography, some of her work may appear explotive. But she was an extemely shy person and to approach some of her subjects, she had to really dig deep to get the courage to do so.
    Thanks Gene. That fills in a big gap for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    I just don't know what to make of her work. Is it great photography, or just great schlock? Freaks presented in photographs rather than in person in carnival side shows?
    I don't know.
    I'm still in the same camp with you Bill. I don't know either. To me, it all depends on the what the motivation of the photographer is. But I also know that too often, its not the photographer who intends the exploitation. Things can easily develop into something no intended. Maybe that was a dilemna she had and couldn't reconcile it?
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  8. #28

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    There is a certain breed of photographer who works on the margins of society or under conditions that few of us would ever dream of approaching. Besides Arbus, Gary Winnogard and Weegee come to mind. But also in this category I would put war photographers such as James Natcheway.

    I believe the reason these individuals were (are) able to produce such moving and provocative images is because they share an almost voyeuristic relationship with the subject matter. That is they have an obsession, even a need to view the subject matter. The camera is a tool that helps them indulge in the obsession. I am not saying that it is good or bad, just trying to suggest an explanation for how such bodies of work come about.

    The ironic thing is about her work is that she transforms anyone who looks at her work into a voyeur right along with her. I still remember when I first became aware of her work. I thought some of the images were pretty disturbing or at least the product of a disturbed mind. But that did not keep me from going back again and again to look at the images in the same book.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  9. #29
    lee
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    Jim,

    to a certain point I will agree with you. I am thinking she was trying to confront her own demons. By showing us those, she also pointed us to our own demons. Maybe not the same demons but demons just the same. she also may have given a voice to the segment of society that gets shunned and put in the dark recessess of life.

    lee\c

  10. #30
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    Just in case I'm not the last one in the civilized world to discover this.... I heard an interview on PBS regarding her and the people who were acquaintances of hers and the family pronounced her name "Dee-Ann". I realized that I had only read her name and didn't know it was pronounced that way.
    Craig Schroeder

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