Diane Arbus

MAR 13 Today is the birthday of American photographer Diane Arbus (1923-1971). She is known for photographing social outcasts and for befriending, rather than objectifying, her subjects. In the late ’40s, Arbus and her husband maintained a commercial photography business; Diane was art director and her husband Allan was the photographer. In 1954, she quit commercial photography to focus on her own art. Soon, she was meeting subjects by chance on the streets of New York. Around 1962, she switched from her 35mm camera and its grainy, rectangular images, to a twin-lens reflex camera. This led to a more detailed, square format described as “direct and unadorned.” Arbus pioneered the use of a flash in daylight, which served to separate the subject from the surroundings and produced a surreal effect. She established relationships with many of her subjects and returned to them over the years. “Child With Toy Hand Grenade” (1962)

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