The photographer Diane Arbus revealed an America that most people preferred not to look at. The close-up images of drag queens, sideshow acts and nudists challenged a 1960’s audience in ways that were both physical and emotional.
Arbus was held up as a genius and reviled as a predator for those intimate portraits. In retrospect, she is even more interesting for her decision to reject that privileged upbringing above the treetops on Central Park West in favor of the bizarre company she kept in the Bowery.
Arbus somehow mixed enough charm, empathy and talent to get those living on the margins to invite her home for a closer look. After years of silence from her estate, a new exhibition traveling the country tells us more about the woman who kept her own secrets behind the lens. Diane Arbus further Revealed.
Patrica Bosworth, author of “Diane Arbus: A Biography,” and Contributing Editor to Vanity Fair.