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.