June 13, 2016

"She once said that she had sex with any man who asked for it..."

"... and described a pool party at which she worked through the various men, one after the next, as if they were canapés."

From "In the Picture"/A new biography of Diane Arbus," by Anthony Lane (in The New Yorker).

Also: "Arbus...  confessed to being jealous of her younger sister, Renee, for having been raped as a teen-ager. Diane was said to radiate 'aggressive vulnerability,' and some people were worn down by posing for her, hour upon hour, until they were frazzled and frayed; only then would she get the shot she required."

22 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

"Hey you! Yeah, you, sister! Get away from that all-you-can-eat hors d'oeuvres bar! This is a respectable party & nobody's gonna pull a canape train here, ya hear! Go on, now, git!"

"Go through men like canapes?" Whaaat?

Lawrence Person said...

If there was an example of "gave not into the abyss, least it gaze into you," Diane Arbus might have been it...

dustbunny said...

Patrica Bosworth wrote an interesting biography of Arbus in the 80's. She was revealed as deeply disturbed, masochistic. This sounds like more info in that vein.

JAORE said...

"...construe the life that followed as one long struggle to get away from wealth—to crawl free of it, like someone seeking the exit from a treasure-stacked cave."

Uhhhh..... yeah. I've never had the problem of suffocating wealth.

But getting away from wealth, if one REALLY had such a goal, is easy peasy. Leave he house, don't look back.

Mos of these type of poor little rich people stories are often really about, "I want to rebel and renounce. But the mansion and Jaguar are so vital to my life".

Earnest Prole said...

her photo of Anderson Cooper alone makes her a genius

Comanche Voter said...

Dead almost 50 years. Who cares?

Birkel said...

Why did that fish try to ride so many bicycles?

coupe said...

I bet she probably slashed her own wrists. I know I would.

William said...

When you look at her pictures, you're almost literally looking through her eyes. You see the world that someone who is profoundly depressed sees. It's a disturbing experience just to look at her pictures. She really knew how to make darkness visible.

William said...

I read the article. She also used to go into porn movie houses and give hand jobs to random strangers. Who can explain actions like that? Some people live not so much in a different world but in a different dimension than the rest of. Us.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Um, so what's the takeaway here, Prof? I don't understand the point of the post.

Jupiter said...

"If I could afford to buy an Arbus, I would pick a landscape, or a roomscape—one of those unpeopled places where our fellow-citizens have been, and will come again."

Oh, stuff. You can buy a whole book of her trash, scan the images, and blow them up to whatever size you like. For a couple hundred dollars you could have her depressing crap covering every wall of the over-priced box you live in. You pretentious sack of New York.

Guildofcannonballs said...

https://play.google.com/music/preview/T7ddbgbzolko6lal6yqfh66aure?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-songlyrics

She, she, came from the land of the cotton
A land that was nearly forgotten by everyone
And she, she worked and she slaved so hard
A big old field was her back yard in the delta sun

Oh, but she sure could sing
Oh, when she sure could sing
Then he looked down and he took a little pity
The whole town swore he decided
He'd help her some
And he didn't mind if she wasn't very pretty
For deep inside his heart he knew
She was the only one

Oh, yes, she sure could sing
My, my she sure could sing
She had faith, she had believing
She led all the people together in singing
And she prays every night to the Lord up above
Singing hallelujah, hallelujah

They used to walk singing songs by the river
Even when she knew for sure
She had to go away
And she never knew what her life was to give her
And never had to worry about it
For one single day

Oh, yes, she sure could sing
Yeah yeah she sure could sing
She had faith, she had believing
She led all the people together in singing
And she prays every night to the Lord up above
Singing hallelujah, hallelujah

She she came from the land of the cotton
A land that was nearly forgotten by everyone
She, she worked and she slaved so hard
A big old field was her back yard in the delta sun
My, my, my she sure could sing
Oh, yes and she sure could sing
Ooh, yes, yes she sure could sing
Oh and she sure could sing

n.n said...

Freud's Theory of Child Sexual Abuse and Female Sexual Fantasies

It also got the world thinking that all women fantasize about being raped.
...
feminist psychologists among others started to challenge the Electra complex, penis envy, and women rape fantasies


It seems the female chauvinists were wrong. The claims to a monolithic female bloc are contradicted by the majority of women who do not tolerate their chauvinist orthodoxy.

I suppose that their penis envy is what sets them on the warpath against feminine females and masculine males, and justifies the sacrifice of lower castes of women, and babies, to progress their cause for penile fulfillment and dominance.

Jupiter said...

It does raise an interesting question. The people who can "afford an Arbus" are investment bankers and their ilk. And they buy this sort of pretentious crap in order to hang it on the wall, show it off to their friends, and then sell it for a good deal more than they paid for it. But what if you could rent it? Would Anthony Lane pay good money to have "an Arbus" hanging on his wall for a day or two? How much? Something tells me that ArtBnB is not a value proposition.

Zach said...

I looked up some of her photographs. She has an eye for the grotesque, but if you told me they were all taken by someone with severe depression and a thing for self punishment, I wouldn't argue.

Zach said...

If you told me that unknown Photographer X had an incestuous relationship with her brother, gave handjobs to random strangers in porno theaters, and basically had promiscuity issues to an unhealthy extreme, and then had me guess what genre she worked in, stark black and white pictures of people with grotesque or outre bodies would lap the field.

Freeman Hunt said...

"To say that she slummed would be unfair"

Unfair how?

Kirk Parker said...

Freeman: few slums are *that* unhealthy.

Sydney said...

"She once said that she had sex with any man who asked for it..."

I knew a woman like this at college. She thought of sex the same as most people think of a handshake. And that was her analogy.

madAsHell said...

Did she find pebbles in her sister's pussy?
Why do we venerate the profoundly disturbed?

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.