Sunday, 3 April 2011

This is one of Diane Arbus’s photographs from her book published in 1972. After becoming a student in New York, she worked mainly as a freelance magazine photographer, in the 1960’s. After first seeing this photograph I was somewhat bemused. I could not make up my mind whether or not it was staged, or if it was just a stroke of luck  for Arbus. The boy looks hysterical and militarized; His left hand looks like it is in some kind of spasm. I personally think the photograph works well, the scene is split. The boy looks so threatening but behind him it looks so ‘normal’ and idyllic. People are just going about there daily business; the sun is shining casting shadows from the trees. There is a sense of calm, peacefulness; serial has if it is an idealized world. The violence promised by the boy is disturbing and you could begin to wonder what kind of future there is for him.


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