Diane Arbus (1923 – 1971) was an American photographer and writer who was known for her black-and-white photographs of extraordinary people (dwarfs, giants, transvestites, nudists, circus performers). Arbus is known for photographing ‘freaks’, although she very much disliked this reputation.
In 1972 Arbus committed suicide. She became the first American photographer to have photographs displayed at the Venice Biennale. In 2006, Nicole Kidman starred as Arbus in the film Fur, which presented a fictional version of her life story.
Despite her succes, Arbus work has provoked controversy. American writer and journalist Norman Mailer said about Arbus in 1971 “Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.”
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