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Diane Arbus: A Biography


Diane Arbus: A Biography Cover

ISBN13: 9780393312072
ISBN10: 0393312070
Condition: Standard
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 325-349) and index.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Molly flores, November 28, 2012 (view all comments by Molly flores)
It’s a longer read at over 300 pages, filled with dates and details that at times numbed my brain. The first half of the book was dedicated to Diane’s family (wealthy owners of the Russeks department store), and gives interesting insight into gender roles in the 1940's, 50's. No doubt, even before she met Lissette Model and starting shooting carnivals and dark alleys, she was a woman ahead of her time. A beat ahead of what was expected and allowed of her as an artist, photographer, a mother and a wife. Her life embodied managed chaos pretty well, she was by her own definition an “adventurer.” Bosworth captures this well, scouring through many interviews and personal accounts from people who knew her, as well as Diane’s own work.

The second half started to lose me. Partially because of all the dates and details of “famous” people of the 60's/70's, art exhibits and too many tangents taken by the author. But mostly because I knew the ending already. I just needed to know how the ending came to be. Before I picked the book up, I knew little of Arbus other than the grainy photographs of her “freaks.” I could guess she had perhaps passed on, that she was indeed a darker person. Or rather, someone in the shadows, shining her light in the dark for the rest of us to see. Cancer maybe, I guessed, somehow assuming she was a nicotine addict. Car accident? Air plane crash Patsy Cline style? Getting closer to the final pages of the book, it started occurring to me that suicide was more likely. She was fascinated by it. She was also terrified of death and aging. Bosworth doesn’t focus on her death or pretend to answer any questions about why, she simply gives the facts and wraps it up in a few pages, almost too tidy. She certainly made an adventure of this life and Bosworth's writing and vast collection of personal stories reflects that.
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Leslie Richman, December 14, 2011 (view all comments by Leslie Richman)
I picked this book up out of curiosity and began it with minimal knowledge of Diane Arbus or her work. When I turned the last page, I had absorbed a world of information not only about Arbus, but about the cultural world in which she lived and created art. Bosworth tells a very personal story of an incredibly talented and troubled artist, while accurately presenting a dynamic time in American art as well. Highly recommended, and probably one I'll read again!
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Product Details

A Biography
Bosworth, Patricia
W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
New York :
Individual Photographer
Arbus, diane, 1923-1971
Photographers -- United States -- Biography.
Publication Date:
February 1995
9.36x6.14x1.03 in. 1.24 lbs.

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Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers

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