Going Where I’ve Never Been: The Photography of Diane Arbus
a documentary by John Musilli, 1972
Diane Arbus (pronounced /diːˈæn ˈɑrbəs/, March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer and writer noted for black-and-white square photographs of "deviant and marginal people (dwarfs, giants, transvestites, nudists, circusperformers) or of people whose normality seems ugly or surreal." A friend said that Arbus said that she was "afraid... that she would be known simply as 'the photographer of freaks'"; however, that phrase has been used repeatedly to describe her.
In 1972, a year after she committed suicide, Arbus became the first American photographer to have photographs displayed at the Venice Biennale. Millions of people viewed traveling exhibitions of her work in 1972-1979.
Although some of Arbus's photographs have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction, Arbus's work has provoked controversy; for example, Norman Mailer was quoted in 1971 as saying "Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child."