Biography of Diane Arbus (1923-1971)

American photographer, born in New York in 1923 and died in the same city in 1971.

Diane Nemerov, birth name of Diane Arbus, was married at age 18 with the photographer Allan Arbus. He/She belonged to a wealthy family that lived on New York's Fifth Avenue, and which complained about Diane for being "too careful", full of whims and eccentricities.

He started working for the magazine Harper's Bazaar as a fashion and advertising photographer, giving him the opportunity to meet artists such as Walker Evansand Robert Frank .

Between 1955 and 1957 he/she studied with Lissette Model, which picked up in his photographs that raw realism and particular recruitment to achieve general, may be seen in his images.

From 1960 was devoted to portraying the American marginal population: maimed, subnormal, transvestites, people in the street, their homes, and orphanages. The obsessive choice their models reflects a vital problem, teaches that all of us are monsters. Although Arbus was trying to reflect the reality I was aware that no one can be put in the skin of the other when their situation is less. According to his opinion "the reality observed from close enough, reality becomes fantastic".

His models looked directly at the camera, he/she lit them with a direct flash or other also direct lights. However, according to his own statements "For me, the subject of the photograph will always be more important than the image".

He received Guggenheim fellowships in 1963 and 1966. Thanks to this, it could carry out the work which was shown at the MOMA in New York in 1969, along with the work of L. Friedlander and Winogrand G.. His photographs surprised the public since they showed the portraits of a Madhouse fools masquerading as the day of the feast of the Center. Its worldwide reputation led her to be considered one of the pioneers of the new documentary style, and his work was compared with A. Sander.

Diane Arbus committed suicide in 1971. A year later was the first photographer whose work was exhibited in the official framework of the Venice Biennale, and the MOMA in New York devoted a traveling retrospective that went to Canada and United States. In this same year, Doon Arbus and Marvin Israel published a monograph titled Diane Arbus. The following year was organized an exhibition traveling retrospective in Japan who traveled through Western Europe and the Pacific.

In March 2005, a major retrospective of his work was exhibited at the Metropolitam of New York, with more than one hundred and eighty photographs that toured chronologically the work of the artist.


Diane Arbus exhibition. Barcelona: FundaciĆ³ Caixa de Pensions, 1986.