All about photo: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, schools, books and venues.
Diane Arbus
Allan Arbus 1949
Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

Country: United States
Birth: 1923 | Death: 1971

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.". Arbus believed that a camera could be “a little bit cold, a little bit harsh” but its scrutiny revealed the truth; the difference between what people wanted others to see and what they really did see – the flaws. A friend said that Arbus said that she was "afraid... that she would be known simply as 'the photographer of freaks'"; however, that phrase has been used repeatedly to describe her. In 1972, a year after she committed suicide, Arbus became the first American photographer to have photographs displayed at the Venice Biennale. Millions of people viewed traveling exhibitions of her work in 1972–1979.

Between 2003 and 2006, Arbus and her work were the subjects of another major traveling exhibition, Diane Arbus Revelations. In 2006, the motion picture Fur, starring Nicole Kidman as Arbus, presented a fictional version of her life story. Although some of Arbus's photographs have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, Arbus's work has provoked controversy; for example, Norman Mailer was quoted in 1971 as saying "Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child." Others have, however, pointed out that Mailer was dissatisfied with a picture of him holding his crotch taken by Arbus for the New York Times Book Review. Arbus was born as Diane Nemerov to David Nemerov and Gertrude Russek Nemerov. The Nemerovs were a Jewish couple who lived in New York City and owned Russek's, a famous Fifth Avenue department store. Because of her family's wealth, Arbus was insulated from the effects of the Great Depression while growing up in the 1930s. Arbus's father became a painter after retiring from Russek's; her younger sister would become a sculptor and designer; and her older brother, Howard Nemerov, would later become United States Poet Laureate, and the father of the Americanist art historian Alexander Nemerov. Diane Nemerov attended the Fieldston School for Ethical Culture, a prep school.

In 1941, at the age of eighteen, she married her childhood sweetheart Allan Arbus. Their first daughter Doon (who would later become a writer), was born in 1945 and their second daughter Amy (who would later become a photographer), was born in 1954. Diane and Allan Arbus separated in 1958, and they were divorced in 1969. The Arbuses' interests in photography led them, in 1941, to visit the gallery of Alfred Stieglitz, and learn about the photographers Mathew Brady, Timothy O'Sullivan, Paul Strand, Bill Brandt, and Eugène Atget. In the early 1940s, Diane's father employed them to take photographs for the department store's advertisements. Allan was a photographer for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War Two. In 1946, after the war, the Arbuses began a commercial photography business called "Diane & Allan Arbus," with Diane as art director and Allan as the photographer. They contributed to Glamour, Seventeen, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and other magazines even though "they both hated the fashion world." Despite over 200 pages of their fashion editorial in Glamour, and over 80 pages in Vogue, the Arbuses' fashion photography has been described as of "middling quality." Edward Steichen's noted 1955 photographic exhibit, The Family of Man, did include a photograph by the Arbuses of a father and son reading a newspaper.

In 1956, Diane Arbus quit the commercial photography business. Although earlier she had studied photography with Berenice Abbott, her studies with Lisette Model, beginning in 1956, led to Arbus's most well-known methods and style. She began photographing on assignment for magazines such as Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, and The Sunday Times Magazine in 1959. Around 1962, Arbus switched from a 35 mm Nikon camera which produced grainy rectangular images to a twin-lens reflex Rolleiflex camera which produced more detailed square images. In 1963, Arbus was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a project on "American rites, manners, and customs"; the fellowship was renewed in 1966. In 1964, Arbus began using a twin-lens reflex Mamiya camera with flash in addition to the Rolleiflex. Her methods included establishing a strong personal relationship with her subjects and re-photographing some of them over many years. During the 1960s, she taught photography at the Parsons School of Design and the Cooper Union in New York City, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island.

The first major exhibition of her photographs occurred at the Museum of Modern Art in a 1967 show called "New Documents," curated by John Szarkowski. The show also featured the work of Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. Some of her artistic work was done on assignment. Although she continued to photograph on assignment (e.g., in 1968 she shot documentary photographs of poor sharecroppers in rural South Carolina for Esquire magazine), in general her magazine assignments decreased as her fame as an artist increased. Szarkowski hired Arbus in 1970 to research an exhibition on photojournalism called "From the Picture Press"; it included many photographs by Weegee whose work Arbus admired. Using softer light than in her previous photography, she took a series of photographs in her later years of people with intellectual disability showing a range of emotions. At first, Arbus considered these photographs to be "lyric and tender and pretty," but by June, 1971, she told Lisette Model that she hated them. Associating with other contemporary photographers such as Robert Frank and Saul Leiter, Arbus helped form what Jane Livingston has termed The New York School of photographers during the 1940s and 1950s.

Among other photographers and artists she befriended during her career, she was close to photographer Richard Avedon; he was approximately the same age, his family had also run a Fifth Avenue department store, and many of his photographs were also characterized as detailed frontal poses. Another good friend was Marvin Israel, an artist, graphic designer, and art director whom Arbus met in 1959. Arbus experienced "depressive episodes" during her life similar to those experienced by her mother, and the episodes may have been made worse by symptoms of hepatitis. Arbus wrote in 1968, "I go up and down a lot," and her ex-husband noted that she had "violent changes of mood." On July 26, 1971, while living at Westbeth Artists Community in New York City, Arbus took her own life by ingesting barbiturates and slashing her wrists with a razor. Marvin Israel found her body in the bathtub two days later; she was 48 years old.

Source: Wikipedia

© Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
 

Diane Arbus's Video

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #11 TRAVELS
$1,000 cash prizes | Winning image(s) published in AAP Magazine #11 | Extensive press coverage and global recognition
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Bettina Rheims
France
1952
Bettina Rheims is a French artist and photographer. She is the daughter of Maurice Rheims, of the French Academy. After having been a model, a journalist, and opening an art gallery, she began to be a photographer in 1978 at the age of 26. Initially she did many commissioned works such as albums covers for Jean-Jacques Goldman and photos of various stars. From 1980 she devoted herself solely to photography. She made a series of photographs of strip-tease artists and acrobats, which were shown 1981 in two personal exhibitions, at the Centre Pompidou and at the Galerie Texbraun in Paris. Encouraged by this success, she worked on a series of stuffed animal portraits, which were exhibited in Paris and New York. At the same time she took portrait images for worldwide magazines and advertising campaigns (Well and Chanel), created her first fashion series, worked on cover sleeves, and film posters, and in 1986 directed her first advertising campaign. In 1989 her portraits of women were published in a monograph, Female Trouble, and were exhibited in Germany and Japan. In the following year she made a series of portraits of androgynous teenagers, Modern Lovers, which were shown in France, Great Britain and the United States as well as being issued in book-form. Her series Chambre Close, which was realized between 1990 and 1992 in collaboration with Serge Bramly, had an immense success not only in Europe but all over the world. The book is a collection of photographs of nude young women in various postures. It became a bestseller and is regularly reprinted. In the following years her fame began to become worldwide and she is renowned as a one of the most important photographers not only in Europe, but also in the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia and Moscow.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Bernard Benavides
Bernard Benavides (Barcelona, 1980), photographer, licensed by the Gris Art School Barcelona, in 2011, has developed his professional and artistic career through his passion for travel and photography. Always interested in the remote cultures of distant countries, with which he establishes a personal and close link to meet in person, to experience the day to day of the ethnic group, its culture, its rituals and its particular landscapes and lost paradises. This has marked the pulse of his travels and allowed him to perceive each face and each landscape uniquely. He is an avid traveler who takes the opportunity to escape and travel the world with his camera and backpack. He likes the most complicated challenges and trips. Since different events occur in the interests of today's world, his preference is always social photography. He believes that it is not the experience itself, but the meaning that he gives to the experience. His professional and artistic career began at the age of thirteen. Having personally experienced the Civil War of El Salvador for three years, it marked the rest of his life and had an important influence on the decision to direct his career to photojournalism. In 2011, due to personal and professional stability gained from the cultural exchanges experienced in his previous trips, as well as for the discovery of new places such as Kano, Nigeria, he adopted a different and more critical outlook when discovering and documenting the ethnic political conflict between Christians and Muslims. Nigeria was a country where he developed a high degree of personal and professional learning. His long trips through Central Asia, South East Asia, America, Australia, and currently a two-year trip through Africa, have led him to enjoy and document with his lens, the native peoples and especially the fascination of living with tribes.
Hector Acebes
United States/Spain
1921 | † 2017
Arkady Shaikhet
Russia
1898 | † 1959
Arkady Samoylovich Shaikhet was at the beginning a locksmith apprentice at a shipyard in Nikolaiev where he was born. He came to Moscow in 1918. At first he worked in a photographic studio were he retouched images of others but in 1924 his career as a photojournalist started. He worked for Rabochaïa Gazeta and the weekly Ogonek/Ogoniok. He was a pioneer in a new style of documentary photography called " artistic reportage". He became a member of the union of proletarian russian photographers (ROPF), a rival group of the other "October" founded by Aleksander Rodtchenko. Shaikhet favored a rigorous journalistic point of vue and his work was very sensitive to sociological problems. His images were at the frontier of documentary and artistic photography. In 1931 with two of his friends, M. Alpert and Sergueï Toules and also the editor in chief Mezhericher, he took 80 pictures in four days and called his series "24 hours in the life of the family Filippov, steelworker in the red proletarian factory of Moscow" These documents were published in the German magazine "Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung (A.I.Z.) and then in the Russian magazine "USSR in Construction". They had a huge international impact. In 1928 Shaikhet presented 30 images at the big exhibition "Ten years of Soviet photography" and won the first prize. In 1930 he helped Russian photojournalists show their work at the Camera Club in London. During the 30s he took a lot of images of the economical and social changes happening in his country. He followed the Turkestan–Siberian railway, that connects Central Asia and Siberia but also the first cars and tractors. He was a war reporter during World War II for the newspaper Frontavaïa Illioustratsia.
Sean Gallagher
United Kingdom
1979
Thomas Jorion
France
1976
Thomas Jorion (b. 1976, lives in Paris) photographs urban ruins and condemned buildings, spaces that no longer serve the purposes for which they were built. His work explores the built environment in a state of entropy, inviting viewers to reflect on the relationship between the material and the temporal.My work is based on our perception of time, how it passes and especially its lack of linearity. Some places seem frozen as time passes by. While our society is developing and changing very rapidly, these places are submitted to a distorted passing of time. They seem to be lifeless or in a waking state, although in reality they have their own link with time. I travel the world with one idea in mind, to find and show timeless islands. I choose to enter closed and abandoned places formerly alive, and often places of leisure or prestige to capture and share them. My fascination for the esthetic of abandoned places is the extension of an older tradition. The Romantics enjoyed strolling amidst the ruins of long lost civilizations. Centuries earlier, painters such as François de Nomé (1592 – 1623), Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) and Hubert Robert (1733 – 1808) dedicated part of their work to these forgotten places. Somehow my photos are part of this process. The existence of timeless islands stems from a variety of contemporary phenomena. Though each of these islands has a particular origin depending on its location, all eventually evoke the disappearance of men. In Japan, the line between leisure and consumption is often blurry. Leisure activities that are deemed old-fashioned are disposed of – similar to those handkerchiefs, the “nuigishi,” given out for free on the streets by pretty young ladies. An example of this occurence (occurrence – deux R) is the three-storied, 108-lane bowling alley in a Tokyo suburb. Being out of use for some time, it soon is to be demolished. The expansion of new forms of leisure activities has also led to a booming hotel industry. Better and cheaper flight connections and the growing mobility of global citizens made the world a village, with every destination easy to reach. The province of Izu, which used to be a popular summer destination for the Japanese, is now competing with international destinations as in China or Korea. Hotel complexes or amusement parks now open for business or shut their gates according to short-lived trends in the tourism industry. In America the consequences of the economic crisis have been more disastrous than anyone could hardly have imagined. In the vast landscape of the United States, the possibility to build on new land is considered limitless. The habit of constructing new buildings instead of renovating old ones has proven rather catastrophic for the country. The dramatic consequences can be seen in cities such as Detroit MI, where the “white flag” phenomenon has made matters even worse. Other cities, such as Memphis, TN, or Bridgeport, CT have followed suit. Those cities’ entire cultural and social identities have decayed into ruin. The first places to have become useless for society were theaters, movie theaters, sport centers, schools and churches. Health care institutions, public housing, and judicial systems suffered, too… The failure of American Utopias, photographed by Joel Sternfeld in the late 70s, was already heralding deeper phenomena observed today. On the old continent, the reasons are multiple and the consequences are often the same. Struck by a major structural transformation from industrial to post-modern societies many countries had to turn away from their heavy industry. Gigantic textile factories in Northern Italy have completely disappeared, even sumptuous villas of industrialists were forsaken and left to decay. Twenty years after the reunification this development can also be seen in Germany, where factories became completely unsuitable for the global economy and whole regions became deserted due to migration. There is no denying that these abandoned places now cover all continents and in the name of the profit motive tends to amplify this phenomenon. As for my photographic practice, I wish to conserve the rawness of the places that I observe. This represents a challenge. The frame must be arranged in accordance with the layout of the space and the available light. For me, this reinforces the immaculate and timeless aspect of the place. My use of a large format camera allows me to make sharp and detailed images that contain a variety of focal points, textures, and depths. Capturing the richness of such pictures takes much time, which in turn reduces the number of photographs I can take. The choice of color film is important because it anchors the place within the present moment and allows for a faithful rendering of things seen. This eliminates the austere quality of certain spaces. For example, in the Piedmont theater, the blue, yellow, and brown are muted and soft colors, but they correspond well together to reveal a new beauty. Source: www.thomasjorion.com
Pedro Jarque Krebs
Pedro Jarque Krebs is an award winning photographer born in Lima, Peru, graduated in Philosophy of Science from the Sorbonne University in Paris. His photos have won more than 100 photography awards internationally, 31 gold medals, 10 silver medals, 6 bronze medals and many honorable mentions. Among these awards are the Sony World Photography Awards, whose Peru National Award he won 3 times, in 2016, 2018 and 2019; the 2018 Bird Photographer of the Year competition (United Kingdom), where he was the overall winner; First place at: Montier Festival Photo (France) in 2018, Oasis Photo Contest (Italy) in 2017; the Sente-Antu Cup (China) in 2018, and the Trierenberg Super Circuit (Austria) in 2018. He was a finalist four years in a row of the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest (United States). In October 2016, he was named photographer of the month by National Geographic, France. There's no doubt that we, the human beings, have many problems to resolve as a species, and that our societies are far from having achieved the justice and equality we crave for, but to deal with the animal world, far from being a mere levity, has turned into a major problem of great magnitude which directly affects our survival as a species. It is no longer just about the loss of their diversity and beauty; it is an issue that affects our entire ecosystem, causing a serious imbalance. Our expansion has meant the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of living species. This artistic-photographic project aims to help breaking the barrier that we have built in our relationship with the animal life, showing animals in a closer, even intimate, way, isolated from any context, trying to rebuild with our look these destroyed bridges, as well and giving back to the animals part of its stolen dignity.
Advertisement
SmugMug
AAP Magazine
Ilford

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview With Jackson Patterson
I discovered the work of Jackson Patterson while judging the first edition of All About Photo Awards - The Mind's Eye. My co-jurors Frank Horvat, Ed kashi, Klavdij Sluban, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Cara Weston, Jules Maeght, Ami Vitale, Ann Jastrab and Keiichi Tahara and myself were impressed by his work Red Barn that was exhibited at Jules Maeght Gallery. He tells the stories of his family and others intertwined with the majestic landscapes in his photomontages. Patterson's images breathe insight into representation, fabrication, visual language and the relationship of earth and people.
Exclusive Interview with Stephan Gladieu
Stephan Gladieu's career began in 1989 covering war & social issues, traveling across Europe,Central Asia, the Middle East (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Pakistan) and Asia (India, Nepal, Vietnam, China, etc). His work began as travel features, but he became increasingly interested in using portraiture to illustrate the human condition around the world. His portraiture has included covering the Saudi Princes, Princesses in Nepal, actors & directors behind the scenes at Cannes Film Festival, politicians, intellectuals, but also everyday people the world over.
Exclusive Interview with Rebecca Moseman
Virginia native Rebecca Moseman received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1997 and her Master of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2001. She has worked in academia, private industry, and Government as an instructor, consultant, and graphic designer and does freelance work in photography and publishing. We asked her a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Judi Iranyi and Remembering Michael
Michael P. Stone, our only child, died of AIDS in November 1984, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Michael was 19 and a senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Exclusive Interview with Svetlin Yosifov
Svetlin Yosifov is a freelance photographer based in Bulgaria. He won the 1st place for the AAP Magazine #9 Shadows with his work 'Mursi People'. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Interview with Bill Owen
Bill Owens took iconic photos of the Hells Angels beating concertgoers with pool cue sticks at the Rolling Stones' performance during the Altamont Speedway Free Festival four months after Woodstock on December 6, 1969. Altamont, which included violence almost all day and one stabbing death, is considered by historians as the end of the Summer of Love and the overall 1960's youth ethos. This series of photos include panoramas of the massive, unruly crowd, Grace Slick and Carlos Santana on stage with the press of humanity so close in, they're clearly performing under duress.
Exclusive Interview with Vicky Martin
Vicky Martin is a fine art photographer based in the UK. She won the 1st place for the All About Photo Magazine #5 Colors with her work "Not in Kansas". We asked her a few questions about her life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Steve Schapiro
An activist as well as documentarian, Steve Schapiro covered many stories related the Civil Rights movement as well as more than 200 films. Now available in a popular edition by Taschen, "The Fire Next Time" with James Baldwin's frank account of the black experience and Schapiro's vital images, the book offers poetic and potent testimony to one of the most important struggles of American society. Coinciding with the release of Schapiro's new photo book, we asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Graeme Williams
Graeme William's work on South Africa is acclaimed worldwide and has been published on the cover of Time magazine twice as well as published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern... to name just a few. But for the last five years he shifted his attention from South Africa to the United States. We asked him a few questions about his new project "America Revisited"
Call for Entries
AAP Magazine #11 TRAVELS
$1,000 cash prizes | Winning image(s) published in AAP Magazine #11 | Extensive press coverage and global recognition