Monday, May 24, 2010

Diane Arbus.

I've been writing all day. This thesis just grows and gains; it feels like I've planted some extreme herb in a neat, little flower bed, and it's bolted for the borders of Tijuana or something.
I've been clawing and grasping for ages now; trying to put my finger on the place where imagination and the fanciful meet reality, to better discuss the un-discussable (technical term) elements of my thesis... and whilst pondering, I've been directed to Diane Arbus' photography.
Diane Arbus and this artist are my very most beloved photographers.
I cant get past either of them, and, on very close inspection and with much pondering, I can see a link between the two of them.
There is a gentleness and a kindness in Arbus' work, that is utterly her own, and so gracious, that the images have a longevity that I doubt she could have forseen.

So, without further ado, let me share some of her photographs - the images I've been studying, and some beautiful quotes from the book Diane Arbus: Revelations, which my beloved Dad bought for me a number of years ago. It was Christmas time, and I had just recently committed to completing my art history degree, and he asked me if I would like any particular art books from 'Santa'. I asked for a book on Vogue and anything about Diane Arbus. He got me both... and the love that he gave me then, continues to burst my heart open now. So this post is for him. And the personal growth - well, that's for me.

"She was entranced by differences, the minutest variations. That from the beginning nothing, no two rooms, no two beds, no two bodies or any parts of them were ever the same. Finding those differences thrilled her, from the most glaring ones like a giant to the smallest ones that just barely make someone unique"
- Marvin Israel, on his friend, Diane Arbus.

"...nothing is ever alike. The best thing is the difference. I get to keep what nobody needs." -  Diane Arbus.

"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know..." - Diane Arbus.

"The process itself has a kind of exactitude, a scrutiny that we're not normally subjet to. I mean that we don't subject eachother to. We're nicer to each other than the intervention of the camera is going to make us... I think it does, a little, hurt to be photographed..."

DIANE ARBUS 1923 - 1971.

"Arbus knew that honesty is not a gift, endowed by native naivete, nor a matter of style, or politics, or philosophy. She knew rather that it is a reward bestowed for bravery in the face of the truth. Those who have been news reporters, and have been required by their role to ask the unforgivable question, know the sense of relief with which one averts one's eyes, once perfunctory duty is done.
 Arbus did not avert her eyes."   


stephanie said...

we were looking at other images by Diane Arbus, having just published a feature ourselves about this amazing photographer and we really like the selection of quotations you have added into your piece..i really like your blog. Are you based in London?

Rianna said...

Hi Stephanie! Thankyou for your lovely comment.
I'm based in Australia. I did a lot of research on Arbus' work; moreso after I made this post, as I referenced her migration from fashion images to 'art' photography in my thesis on fashion photography. I'm keen to hear more about your feature!

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