- Hardcover: 184 pages
- Publisher: Aperture; Fortieth anniversary ed edition (30 Aug. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1597111740
- ISBN-13: 978-1597111744
- Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 24.4 x 2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 900,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph Hardcover – Special Edition, 30 Aug 2011
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Everything that needs to be said has already been said about this book, this record, this heartache, this brave account, this body of evidence. I didn't choose to write about this book because I feel that I can say anything more eloquent than what has already been said... Arbus is able to tell us how much we want and how much we will have and will not have, she manage it in the pages of one monograph.--Laurel Nakadate"The Photobook Review" (04/01/2014) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The pictures in this book all portray misinterpretations of the 'normal'. And, as such, they call into question what normal is. It's only when you see someone getting it wrong that you realise that there is something there to get wrong. We go through life blithely accepting the values that are presented to us as fixed, immutable, natural and 'obvious'. But when someone who has that same upbringing, that same life, presents those values slightly skewed, then it highlights the fact that there is a value there, that the value is not a 'given', it is not 'natural'. And at that point, we can change, discard, abuse it. As Arbus says in the introduction:
'Sometimes I can see a photograph or a painting, I see it and I think, That's not the way it is. I don't mean a feeling of, I don't like it. I mean the feeling that this is fantastic, but there's something wrong. I guess it's my own sense of what a fact is'.
So, you might draw a parallel with Bertold Brecht's 'verfremdung' or alienation effect.
The introduction, then, is illuminating. The pictures themselves are beautiful, disturbing and tragic. Roughly in chronological order, from the early 60's up to the early 70's, they hint at a sad journey, ending in Arbus's suicide. The early ones - starting with 'Russian midget friends in a living room on 100th Street, N.Y.C. 1963', through 'Girl with a cigar in Washington Square Park, N.Y.C. 1965', the chilling 'A family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y.Read more ›
This is another quality production by Aperture Monograph. Full-page, black and white photographs on one side, a brief description, with no further explanation, on the other. There are approximately 100 of them. And the subject matter, in Arbus’ own words, extracts of which appear at the beginning of this work: “Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot… Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” Her subjects are midgets and giants, transvestites, hermaphrodites and Down’s Syndrome children. Sometimes they are people who consciously choose to be an “outlier” in society, like the nudists. But even with those people who are nominally normal, for example, the picture of four well-dressed people at a gallery opening in NYC, Arbus seems to have a knack for capturing their “freakishness.”
How did she obtain the permission to take these pictures, since in almost every case, the subject is posed, looking straight at the camera? She says: “I think I’m kind of two-faced. I’m very ingratiating.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very excellent Arbus images with the most wonderful simple description of each photograph.Published 4 months ago by A
love her work and this book captures some of best known images.Published 11 months ago by steve evans
Superb collection from a giant in the world of people photography. Good sized book with excellent quality reproductions, highly recommended.Published 21 months ago by Dennis Healey
I got this as i just adore Arbus's work and have non of her books, and i am so happy i got this one. As you get a wide range of her work, and layout is great. Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2014 by marmitelover
This is a great gift for anyone interested in Arbus, or just people photography. Wonderful book and unusually inexpensive for a book of its kind.Published on 28 Aug. 2013 by Margurite K
Good work, very well printed. I don't like totally the Diane Arbus style, but this book represents an important milestone in the history of photographyPublished on 12 May 2013 by Davide Tambuchi