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Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph [Special Edition] [Paperback]

Diane Arbus , Doon Arbus
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 July 2012 Aperture Monograph
When Diane Arbus died in 1971 at the age of forty-eight, she was already a significant influenceeven something of a legendamong serious photographers, although only a relatively small number of her most important pictures were widely known at the time. The publication of Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph in 1972along with the posthumous retrospective at The Museum of Modern Artoffered the general public its first encounter with the breadth and power of her achievements. The response was unprecedented. The monograph of eighty photographs was edited and designed by the painter Marvin Israel, Diane Arbuss friend and colleague, and by her daughter Doon Arbus. Their goal in making the book was to remain as faithful as possible to the standards by which Diane Arbus judged her own work and to the ways in which she hoped it would be seen. Universally acknowledged as a classic, Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph is a timeless masterpiece with editions in five languages and remains the foundation of her international reputation. Nearly half of a century has done nothing to diminish the riveting impact of these pictures or the controversy they inspire. Arbuss photographs penetrate the psyche with all the force of a personal encounter and, in doing so, transform the way we see the world and the people in it. This is the first edition in which the image separations were created digitally; the files have been specially prepared by Robert J. Hennessey using prints by Neil Selkirk.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture; Special edition edition (2 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597111759
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597111751
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 23.1 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A friend working in bookstore asked why I'd never mentioned being in Diane Arbus' "book of freaks". Until that moment I didn't know but of course I knew she'd photographed me. (There's a hint!) It was without a doubt one of the most intense experiences of my life. That she often saw what others could not is reflected on every page. She called her subjects aristocrats. I think you must be one to see that quality in another. The photographs taken thirty years ago are timeless.Although the clothing, hairstyles and makeup are from a definite era (sixties) one can hardly imagine the subjects dressed any other way. Arbus has created a nation of anachronisms in her book. There is a definite sense of family, of community from page to page; from a Brooklyn bedroom to a Greenwich Village park bench to a lawn party at Willowbrook. Someone asked me how it felt to be in this "book of freaks". I couldn't answer then. But now I can: Even if your face is not on the pages of Monograph you will find yourself there. Just look.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Diziet TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Diane Arbus had a reputation for simply photographing 'freaks'. It is a wholly undeserved reputation and shows, to my mind, a basic misunderstanding of her work. The title of this review is from a line quoted at the beginning of the book and it goes a very long way in explaining what Dianne Arbus is 'about'.

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars endlessly fascinating 25 July 2012
By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER
Diane Arbus was a little like Nan Goldin in her way of focusing on marginalised people but they were not her friends and the scope is wider, taking in people who don't fit in to society for physical and identity-based reasons, as well as the extravagantly wealthy, and the very 'ordinary' in a few instances. You feel that the tone, while sympathetic, has some kind of ambiguity as well, allowing us to see, in the same image, the person's self-image and the way others might perceive them as well. There is a degree of delusion felt in the photos that makes them quite unique, and the two elements make looking at them a very intense experience and an unforgettable one - has any photographer said so much about humanity? In a world where the proliferation of images has made them largely throwaway, these have a permanence one might more readily associate with bronze sculpture - you feel they are part of the human picture indelibly, and ultimately a great affirmation of our humanity in all its strangeness and contradictions.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining photography... 13 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Diane Arbus depicts the "off beaten path" part of society in the most glamorous way possible. She makes the socially unaccepted look completely relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. I am very lucky to have stumbled upon this book of photographs by Diane Arbus - make yourself lucky also.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Diane Arbus An Aperture Monograph. 1 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Superb collection from a giant in the world of people photography. Good sized book with excellent quality reproductions, highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning :) 5 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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. All the photographs are full page and printed wonderfully. So if you like the work of Diane Arbus this is great to put to your collection or good for anyone interested in photography as it will be a wonderful source of inspiration.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for photography lovers. 28 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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