I knew that Diane Arbus lived in the gloomy factory like artist residence called Wesbeth where she died and that she occupied a prestigious place in that complex, as she was one of the few recognized and respected artists of the time. There was a competition of sort among artists as to who should take over her space. Apparently these artists did not worry about ghosts or residual spirtual influences.
Found this writing online ,
A meeting with Diane Arbus on a hot summer day one month before her death by Allan Porter.
“Our discussion started with August Sander and her close affiliation with his work in spite of the fact that she had started photographing long before she had come in contact with his pictures. I neither recorded the interview nor took notes, and the fifteen allotted minutes went by about ten times. In fact, it seemed that I was the one who was being interviewed, for she questioned me unceasingly for about an hour-almost as if she were visiting me in my house rather than the other way round. Her questions were naive and her answers sophisticated.”
Diane Arbus was born on March 14, 1923 (Pisces with moon in Aquarius), the same birthday as Albert Einstein. Like Simone Weil whose brother was a famous mathematician, Diane’s brother was Howard Nemerov, a respected poet, unlike Simone Weil, Diane’s parents were strange and cold. Maybe to esacpe them Diane married early to Allan Arbus and had two daughters.
Here is an article by Van Riper, Revealed and Rediscoverd “It has taken decades, but finally the life’s work of Diane Arbus – as well as her life – has been chronicled, after a fashion. This stunning book from Random House, accompanying what promises to be an equally stunning exhibition, doubtless will be the standard by which subsequent work on Arbus is measured.”
“At Arbus’s funeral, her brother gave the eulogy, and later composed the poem,
“To D—Dead by Her Own Hand.
My dear, I wonder if before the end
You ever thought about a children’s game –
I’m sure you must have played it too – in which
You run along a narrow garden wall
Pretending it to be a mountain ledge
So steep a snowy darkness fell away
On either side to deeps invisible;
And when you felt your balance being lost
You jumped because you feared to fall, and thought
For only an instant: That was when I died.
That was a life ago. And now you’ve gone,
Who would no longer play the grown-ups’ game
Where, balanced on the ledge above the dark,
You go on running and you don’t look down,
Nor ever jump because you fear to fall.
(from Modern Kicks)
An interview with Howard is here. (if you would like to know his poetry.)
Jayne and her daughter
Take a look at 4 great photos from this page, titled – Diane Arbus, Noah’s Ark of Humanity.
Jayne Mansfield died of car accident – in the manner of David
Cronenberg Crash. (The film was adapted from the fiction by J.G Ballad)
A photo by D. A. we have not seen before, Name that baby from Tyler Green.
The above cartoon by Pino Antonelli from an Italian site.