(NEW YORK, NY) – The Met Breuer, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, is presenting over 100 black and white 35mm photos by Diane Arbus. Almost all these photos were shot in lower Manhattan and on Coney Island.
Arbus is one of the most influential and provocative artists of the 20th century, and the exhibit focuses on the first seven years of her career, between 1956 and 1962. It is the timeframe within which she developed her idiosyncratic style and approach. She has been recognized, praised, criticized, and copied the world over.
The exhibit runs until November 27.
Her style is rough, gritty, and often raunchy, if not currently politically incorrect. Her photos reveal a world of secrets waiting to be discovered.
According to Arbus, “It’s what I’ve never seen before that I recognize.”
Two-thirds of the photographs in the exhibit have never been seen before as the prints were stuffed in a corner of her studio, inventoried only some 10 years later.
Her photographs of children, eccentrics, couples, circus performers, female impersonators, and Fifth Avenue pedestrians create surprising images from an era when they could be considered controversial and far ahead of existing social norms.
Arbus had 15 years of fashion photography experience before striking it out alone in 1956. Unlike her contemporaries, she sought personal encounters and portraits where others took shots in an anonymous fashion.