Diane Arbus: A Biography (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/2/28
Kindle 端末は必要ありません。無料 Kindle アプリのいずれかをダウンロードすると、スマートフォン、タブレットPCで Kindle 本をお読みいただけます。
Diane Arbus's unsettling photographs of dwarves and twins, transvestites and giants, both polarized and inspired, and her work had already become legendary when she committed suicide in 1971. This groundbreaking biography examines the private life behind Arbus's controversial art. The book deals with Arbus's pampered Manhattan childhood, her passionate marriage to Allan Arbus, their work together as fashion photographers, the emotional upheaval surrounding the end of their marriage, and the radical, liberating, and ultimately tragic turn Arbus's art took during the 1960s when she was so richly productive. This edition includes a new afterword by Patricia Bosworth that covers the phenomenon of Arbus since her death, the latest Arbus scholarship, and a view of the first major retrospective of Arbus's work as well as notes on the forthcoming motion picture based on her story. Bosworth's engrossing book is a portrait of a woman who drastically altered our sense of what is permissible in photography.
"A biography that seems to have more than enough material for several art legends. Patricia Bosworth has created a spellbinding portrait" (New York Magazine)
"Sensitive...detailed...balanced" (New York Times)
"An excellent biography" (Times Literary Supplement)
"A spirited biography " (Time) --このテキストは、図書館版に関連付けられています。
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta) （「Early Reviewer Program」のレビューが含まれている場合があります）
Personally I found Arbus to be unlikeable and, in many ways, unpleasant. I think Bosworth respected her subject as an artist. I liked the fact that the focus is on Arbus' life and work, rather than the more technical aspects of photography.
Is this an accurate portrayal of this artist? I don't know since I don't have any knowledge of Arbus other than this book. It is possible Arbus or photography buffs could find fault.
Is it a good book? Yes, it's well written, well researched and a terrific, if tragic, story
My recommendation: If you want to read a well written, authoritative book about Diane Arbus, or just want to read an interesting biography , you'll enjoy this book.
Reading about a person who had a chemical imbalance is kind of pointless, I'm beginning to think. I can never understand such bizarre minds. As a teenager, Diane frequently stripped and masturbated in front of a window while she knew she was being peeped -- or at least she said so, but even if it isn't true, saying so is enough. She demanded everything of herself and her talent but she wouldn't do a book or an exhibition presumably because it would be the end in some way, and she turned down a very lucrative film offer because she felt she wasn't up to the job. She was depressed over her last series of photographs of mentally retarded adults because she couldn't control the subjects or the images. Well, why didn't she move on to other subjects? She had had a bad reaction to one type of anti-depressants in combination with the Pill, so she wouldn't try any other anti-depressants with or without the Pill. Then she killed herself.
As for her art, I'm not sure I understand her claim that she was not being exploitative or sensationalistic in her photos of circus freaks, transsexuals, and nudists. "It's about love," Diane said about a series she was doing for Time-Life. Did that series include "normal" people such as the Westchester family in their back yard, the famous twins, the Puerto Rican woman with a birthmark, the woman with pearl earrings and a hat, the Jewish couple dancing, the best friends, the lady bartender, etc? I wish author Bosworth had spent a chapter on that "love" rather than a single sentence. An exploration of Arbus's feelings about the human condition rather than her feelings about art itself might have yielded much more insight, including an explanation of why she killed herself. Despair over human fragility and vulnerability? Over some cosmic irony that hangs over all of us?
Maybe Arbus is simply too elusive for any biographer. Bosworth drops a lot of names and gets Arbus's contemporaries and friends to talk, but a lot of them are self-conscious blowhards whose descriptions were confusing and therefore forgettable. I have the feeling that if Bosworth had managed to get one or two friends with tons of insight and an ability to speak plainly -- maybe Dick Avedon and Allan Arbus, perhaps Amy Arbus as well -- this would have been a more rewarding read. Or perhaps Bosworth should have just written from the perspective that Arbus was weird and impenetrable and taken us into her life with the plain caveat that we can only watch, not understand.
Anyway, I didn't much like it. Until someone writes a book about that sentence, "It's about love," Arbus is for me yet another artist who's sufficiently known by a wiki article and collections of her work. (Same thing happened to me with Lee Krasner and Frida Kahlo, biographies I also read and reviewed here).
Onto Georgia O'Keeffe, Artemisia Gentilleschi, and Grandma Moses!
It was very enjoyable for me to learn about Arbus' relationships with her family members and photographer friends.
And, learning about her process in creating photographs, and her relationships with the people she photographs, is extremely interesting.