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28 Vignon Street
Artist

Diane Arbus

USA, 1923 - 1971
Diane Arbus was an American artist best known for her intimate black-and-white portraits. A premiere photographer of her generation, Arbus shot a wide cast of characters, often choosing those who existed on the fringes of society.

"If I were just curious, it would be very hard to say to someone, I want to come to your house and have you talk to me and tell me the story of your life," she once explained. "I mean people are going to say: You're crazy. Plus they're going to keep mighty guarded. But the camera is a kind of license. A lot of people, they want to be paid that much attention and that's a reasonable kind of attention to be paid."

Born Diane Nemerov on March 24, 1923 in New York, NY, she documented her relationship to the city through its denizens. In 1967, Arbus's images were shown alongside Garry Winogrand's and Lee Friedlander's in New Documents, an exhibition celebrating new points of view in documentary photography at The Museum of Modern Art – her first major show. Arbus committed suicide on July 26, 1971 at the age of 48.

She was posthumously chosen as the first photographer to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1972. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York acquired Arbus's archives in 2007. Five volumes of her work have been published posthumously and have remained continuously in print: Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph (1972), Diane Arbus: Magazine Work (1984), Untitled: Diane Arbus (1995), Diane Arbus: A Chronology (2011), and Diane Arbus Revelations (Random House, 2003).

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