Destination / In Residence

Diane Arbus: American Portraits, NGA

Unstoppably curious and transfixed on the fringes of American post-war society, Diane Arbus’ American Portraits is an unsettling and captivating portrayal of those considered to be ‘outsiders’ in the land of the free. Such iconic scenes as the identical twins photographed in New Jersey in 1967, the 1965 capture of Mae West in bed and the teenage couple beyond their years on Hudson Street reinforce the artist’s mentality towards those she photographed: “the subject of the picture is more important than the picture”. In the early 80s the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, purchased 36 rare prints from the Arbus estate captured during the last decade of the photographers life. American Portraits signals the first time that all 36 images have been displayed to the public together. Arbus’ works can be viewed at the NGA alongside other leading photographers including Lisette Model and William Eggleston until October 30.