I have always been interested in the abnormal and unusual: people and things that are different. As soon as I saw the work of Diane Arbus, I was immediately attracted to the honesty and frankness of the photographs. While many critics criticize Arbus for creating a distant and unsympathetic view of these supposed “freaks” of society, I believe that Arbus was genuinely curious about her subjects. I think she neither tried to ostracize her subjects nor tried to gain sympathy from the viewer, but photographed her subjects honestly and recognized the people who society prefers to turn its back on.
Personally, I admire Arbus’s honesty and her bravery for photographing people and things that are thought of as abnormal or taboo. To me, photography is about finding the beauty in everything, whether it be aesthetic beauty or internal beauty, and I believe that Arbus’s photographs do just that. Even though Arbus’s intention probably was not to try to find beauty in the unusual, her photographs contain a certain type of beauty: one that is internal and not necessarily physical. Diane Arbus inspires me to push myself to try to find the beauty in things that are labeled ugly by society.
-Chrissy Duncan (San Diego, California)