Diane Arbus' top 10 most famous portraits
Before 2003, the world hadn’t seen a major exhibition of Diane Arbus’ work in almost thirty years, during a traveling exhibition in the 1970s, and given the overwhelming response to “Diane Arbus Revelations” (2003-2006), the world was long overdue. Filmmaker Steven Shainberg (SECRETARY) took note and in 2006 relased FUR: AN IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF DIANE ARBUS, starring Nicole Kidman as Arbus and Robert Downey Jr. as Lionel Sweeney, a fictionalized version of one of Arbus’ portraiture subjects. Since Arbus dwelled in a bizarre, fantastical and on-the-fringe world, it’s only fitting that an imagined story of her life is as close to a real ‘biopic’ as we’re likely to get. Get ready for Sundance Channel’s Sunday night screening (October 16th at 7:55p) with some her most famous photographs.
1. “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962″ The boy here is Colin Wood, who made this super crazy face when Arbus came up to him in the park with her camera poised. A print sold in 2005 at auction for $408,000.
2. “Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, N.Y.C. 1963″ These two kids look like old souls, and their world weary expressions belie their age.
3. “A Young Brooklyn Family Going for a Sunday Outing, N.Y.C. 1966″ Richard and Marylin Dauria actually lived in the Bronx, not Brooklyn.
4. “A Young Man in Curlers at Home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966″ One of Arbus’ most controversial photographs a visitor at MoMA in 1967 was so repulsed he spit on it. It was used to advertise the 2003 traveling exhibition. A print sold in 2004 for nearly $200,000.
5. “Boy With a Straw Hat Waiting to March in a Pro-War Parade, N.Y.C. 1967″ His buttons read “Bomb Hanoi” and “God Bless America/Support Our Boys in Vietnam.” A print sold in 2005 for $228,000.
6. “Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J. 1967″ Cathleen and Colleen Wade pose side by side in matching dresses, not unlike the twins in Kubrick’s THE SHINING. A print sold in 2004 for $478,400.
7. “A Family on Their Lawn One Sunday in Westerchester, N.Y. 1968″ Domestic bliss? A print sold in 2008 for $553,000.
8. “A Naked Man Being a Woman, N.Y.C. 1968″ This photo has been compared to “The Birth of Venus” because of the man’s pose, but I can’t seen anything but SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.
9. “A Very Young Baby, N.Y.C. 1968″ Arbus took this portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt’s son for Harper’s Bazaar. He grew up to be the silver-haired newsroom babe, Anderson Cooper.
10. “A Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in The Bronx, N.Y. 1970″ Arbus reportedly said to a friend about this picture: “You know how every mother has nightmares when she’s pregnant that her baby will be born a monster?… I think I got that in the mother’s face….” A print sold in 2007 for $421,000.