Diane Arbus

Name: Diane Arbus, 1923 – 1971

Genre: Documentary

Famous Work: Despite initially working as a commercial photographer in the fashion industry, Diane Arbus’s is most famous for her work capturing those living on the “fringe of society”. Arbus used a Twin-Lens Reflex camera, which produced square images, and used it to capture the ‘ugly’ or surreal – subjects such as dwarfs, nudists, circus performers, transvestites etc – Those that were considered to be social outcasts. Arbus’s images were controversial at the time and impacted on the photographic world as they challenged what was considered to be “tasteful” or “proper” art.


Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.

I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.

Everybody has that thing where they need to look one way but they come out looking another way and that’s what people observe. You see someone on the street and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw.


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