I've been getting very much into Diane Arbus recently. Her brilliance, her tragedy, all of her photographic tendencies. The saturated tone of her photographs, how blatant and expressive they are. She was chiefly known to photograph individuals that didn't conform to the norms of our society. Those who were born "freaks". She said they sparked her interest since we are all constantly subjective to possible tragic accidents, we dread to become one of them. But they had no choice; they were born in that manner and constantly remain so. She is very aspiring, visually and mentally, and I think that's why I've been looking at her photographs so consistently in the past few days.
"I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don't like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something instead of arranging it, I arrange myself."
My pre-loading on layers of jackets and scarves outfit of last night. Only one and it's very unfortunate, due to my camera's battery dying moments after this was taken. I can safely say I'm a sucker for anything high-waisted, and lately it's been men's trousers, probably due to the deathly cold weather. My skirts have rarely made an appearance outdoors, and I just want to stroke them and tell them it'll all be better soon.
I was inspired by Scheynius and Arbus when I took these. Both of these and Sally Mann's photographs are indescribably perfect to the visual senses. I think I've also found a new love with contrast in photos. In the self-portrait I am not wearing any make-up. I think that also in a sense relates to Diane's photographs, just because applying chemical like substances to a woman's face has basically become a norm in our society. As has the fascination of beauty. Which kind of pertains to something I wrote in my journal a little while ago.
"not too long ago i was watching television and as i skimmed through the channels i could only see beauty. i was so overwhelmed by intimidation, these beautiful women and men and children tantilizing me with a blink of their perfect eyelashes. i had to turn it off because weakness and vulnerability and envy overcame my emotions and i began to cry. i used to believe jealous resentment was the most dominant feeling of human nature, but i've only recently come to the conclusion that it only is if you want it to be."
An excerpt from a Diane Arbus documentary...
"I wasn't a child with tremendous earnings. I didn't worship heroes. I didn't long to play the piano or anything. I did paint, but I hated painting, and I quit right after high school because I was continually told how terrific I was. It was like self expression time and I was in a private school, and their tendency was to say, 'What would you like to do?', and then you did something and they said 'How terrific!' It made me feel shaky. I remember I hated the smell of the paint and the noise it would make when I put my brush to the paper. Sometimes I would not really look but just listen to this horrible sort of squish, squish, squish. I didn't want to be told I was terrific. I had a sense that if I was so terrific at it, it wasn't worth doing."
Finally, one of my favourite of her portraits; the young boy with a toy hand grenade in each hand, staring maniacally and mesmerisingly into the camera.