Thursday, May 12, 2005

A poignant little piece on Diane Arbus and her subjects, then and now - in the New Yorker. Somehow, stuff like this makes me miss New York terribly...

Populated by hundreds of nameless characters, Diane Arbus’s portraits conjure infinite imaginary biographies. Ever since the Metropolitan Museum opened its retrospective of Arbus’s photographs, in March, her subjects have been turning up to give their own versions of their lives, an occurrence that is as illuminating and curious as a man in a red turban surfacing at a Van Eyck exhibit. There’s the peroxided wife, for instance, in “A Family on Their Lawn One Sunday in Westchester, N.Y., 1968," who has been in touch with the museum and is planning a visit. “Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962,” is living up to his excitable reputation: numerous people have come forward, claiming to be the boy in the picture. “Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J., 1967,” still dress alike, but their once black hair is permed and tinted strawberry blond. They’ve taken to haunting the galleries, answering questions and posing in front of the photograph that Arbus made when they were children. [...]

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