Diane Arbus

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Diane Arbus (March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer and writer noted for black-and-white square photographs of "deviant and marginal people (dwarfs, giants, transgender people, nudists, circus performers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal.". Diane believed that a camera could be “a little bit cold, a little bit harsh” but its scrutiny revealed the ... more »

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  • ''I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do—that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.''
    Diane Arbus (1923-1971), U.S. photographer. As quoted in On Photography, ch. 1, by Susan Sontag (1977). Arbus was known for rather emotionless, ob...
  • It gets to seem as if way back in the Garden of Eden after the Fall, Adam and Eve had begged the Lord to forgive them and He, in his boundless exasperation, had said, "All right, then. Stay. Stay in t...
    Diane Arbus (1923-1971), U.S. photographer. Remarks on a nudist camp, from classes given in 1971. Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph (1972).
  • There's a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Fr...
    Diane Arbus (1923-1971), U.S. photographer. Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph (1972). From class lectures given in 1971.
  • ''A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.''
    Diane Arbus (1923-1971), U.S. photographer. Quoted in Patricia Bosworth, Diane Arbus: A Biography, Preface (1985).
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