Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus Became Relevant Again

Arthur Lubow’s biography of Diane Arbus, which claims that Arbus carried on a lifelong sexual relationship with her brother, appeared a month before “In the Beginning,” an exhibit of Arbus’s early photographs, opened at the Met Breuer. I submit that the images on display — uncanny but deeply human, curious and impartial, full of lust and anger and pure human longing — made one forget the luridness of Lubow’s revelations. The photographs are mini-vivisections, exposed beating hearts, painful and necessary. Whatever their maker did and felt is alchemized within them and burnished to a black-and-white sheen that booms louder than the grenade gripped in the taut hand of one of Arbus’s young subjects.

- Yevgeniya Traps
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Diane Arbus

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