Chosen by: Bif Naked, Gallery Member
“I have been a fan of Diane Arbus for many years. Her work and her life have always captivated me, and as a ‘dramatic’ and ‘passionate’ woman myself, I am drawn to her, and totally romanticize her life and death. I am intense about my admiration of Diane.
The photograph, “Tattooed Man at Carnival” was the first photo of hers I was gobsmacked by. I loved it. I was an impressionable age (I think I saw it while on a dirty punk tour, somewhere in America, in an art magazine) I was smitten with the visual messages tattoos sent me, and this subject had the addition of his unwavering stare. I was hypnotized, and fell into a lifetime of worshipping the artist-who-captured-him, the photographer Diane Arbus.
When I saw this photograph, Burlesque Comedienne, I fell off of my chair. This was such a moving and important piece for me… on many levels.
I know that Diane was devoted to her technique and subjects, and I love that about her!
This particular portrait spoke to me on such a deep level, as I felt as though she may as well have inserted me in this very familiar (to me) surrounding: the dressing room, alone. It is a very real, relevant, and accurate portrayal of the starkness of the time spent in that room, the intimacy Diane shares with the subject is enviable, and the lucky viewers are intrigued.
I, however, am drunk on it… intoxicated by the imagined heaviness the air might have, by the smell of the subject’s hair.
I feel as though I’m standing beside Diane as she takes the photograph, and she is nice enough to hold my hand as she takes the picture.”