Diane Arbus Essay

830 words - 4 pages

Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus was a distinct American photographer widely known for her black and white images of people such as dwarfs and giants, mentally retarded individuals, triplets, transvestites and nudists. She traveled the city, photographing those who lived on the edge of society. She was fascinated by people who were clearly creating their own identities.
Diane Arbus was born Diane Nemerov to a wealthy Jewish family in New York City on March 14, 1923. She was the second of three children, between her elder brother Howard Nemerov, a prize-winning poet and her younger sister Renee Sparkia, who became a sculptor and designer. Her father, David Nemerov was a very successful businessman. He ...view middle of the document...

It was not easy for her, because she was rather shy.
Between the years of 1955 and 1957, Arbus studied under portrait photographer, Lisette Model, who encouraged her to focus on personal photos. Soon after, she began to devote herself to documenting twins, midgets, transvestites and so on. Her photos drew attention from the artistic community. In 1959, she studied under Marvin Israel, another major influence in her life. He supported her ideas and pushed her to pursue them, he even introduced her to people he thought would influence or help her career. Two years later, Israel became the art director of Harper's Bazaar and was able to publish her work as well. In summer of 1959, Arbus took her portfolio to Esquire magazine and showed it to the articles director, Harold Hayes. Arbus was asked to do a photo essay on the nightlife of New York a few months later for a special Esquire issue on the city. It was published July of 1960 and contained her portraits of six "typical" New Yorkers. It was titled "The Vertical Journey: Six movements of a Moment within the Heart of the City", and this marked the beginning of her career as an independent commercial photographer. She was awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in 1963 and 1966, and in 1967 her work was shown along with the work of two other photographers: Gary Winograd and Lee Friedlander at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Over the next 11 years, Arbus would publish more than 200 photos in...

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