Diane Arbus brings to life the full story of one of the greatest American artists of the twentieth century, a visionary who revolutionized photography and altered the course of contemporary art with her striking, now iconic images. Arbus comes startlingly to life on these pages, a strong-minded child of unnerving originality who grew into a formidable artist and forged an intimacy with her subjects that has inspired generations of artists. Arresting, unsettling, and poignant, her photographs stick in our minds. Why did these people fascinate her? And what was it about her that captivated them?
It is impossible to understand the transfixing power of Arbus’s photographs without understanding her life story. Arthur Lubow draws on exclusive interviews with Arbus’s friends, lovers, and colleagues, on previously unknown letters, and on his own profound critical understanding of photography, to explore Arbus’s unique perspective. He deftly traces Arbus’s development from a wealthy, sexually precocious free spirit into first a successful New York fashion photographer, and then a singular artist who coaxed hidden truths from her subjects. Lubow reveals that Arbus’s profound need not only to see her subjects but to be seen by them drove her to forge unusually close bonds with these people, helping her discover the fantasies, pain, and heroism within each of them.
Diane Arbus is the definitive biography of this unique, hugely influential artist. This magnificently absorbing, sensitive treatment of a singular personality brushes aside the clichés that have long surrounded Arbus and her work to capture a brilliant portrait of this seminal artist whose work has immeasurably shaped art and modern culture.
Lubow’s Diane Arbus finally does justice to Arbus, and brings to life the story and art of one of the greatest American artists in history.
Diane Arbus includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert.
Rather than look only at the physical development of the city—its buildings, monuments, and urban spaces—Dyson also explores its social, economic, and cultural histories. This unique approach situates Rome against a background of comparative urban history and theory, allowing Dyson to examine the dynamic society that once thrived there. In his personal effort to reconstruct the city, Dyson populates its streets with the hurried politicians, hawking vendors, and animated students that once lived, worked, and studied there, bringing the ancient city to life for a new generation of students and tourists.
Dyson follows Rome as it developed between the third century BC and the fourth century AD, dividing the great megalopolis into distinct neighborhoods and locales. He shows how these communities, each with its own unique customs and colorful inhabitants, eventually grew into the great imperial capital of the Italian Empire.
Dyson integrates the full range of sources available—literary, artistic, epigraphic, and archaeological—to create a comprehensive history of the monumental city. In doing so, he offers a dramatic picture of a complex and changing urban center that, despite its flaws, flourished for centuries.