Brooklyn Family, Diane Arbus, Black and White, 1966
Diane Arbus married when she was eighteen. She worked as a fashion photographer with her husband for a while. Then, when they split in 1959 she traveled around taking photographs of “freaks” because she thought they were exciting and interesting. One main reason she was drawn to them was because she lived “typically and sheltered from adversity” when she was younger so her photographs were something to help keep her life away from that.
At first when I saw the Brooklyn Family picture I didn’t think it was that exciting of a picture and I couldn’t understand why it was so famous. However, once I researched Arbus and this picture it started to make sense. They are a lower middle class family with a son who is mentally retarded. What makes this picture so interesting is that they try to hide their quirks and pretend that they are in fact what society would consider as “normal.”