Tag Archives: Diane Arbus


Who better than Vince Aletti to organize and aggregate a virtual tour of his massive and coveted collection of periodicals into the pages of a deluxe art book?

Something like this awaits the readers of ISSUES, a new publication from Phaidon.

The book includes work by Diane Arbus, Corinne Day, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Edward Steichen, Toni Frissell, Irving Penn, Horst, Collier Schorr, Inez Van Lamsweerde, Vinoodh Matadin, Bill Cunningham, and Cindy Sherman.


From top: Horst P. Horst, Vogue, June 1, 1940, cover model Lisa Fonssagrives; Melvin Sokolsky, Harper’s Bazaar, March 1963, model Simone D’Aillencourt; Vince Aletti‘s apartment, photographed by Jason Schmidt, courtesy of the photographer and Phaidon; Corinne Day, The Face, July 1990, model Kate Moss.


“Troubled times get the tyrants and prophets they deserve. During our current epoch, the revival of interest in author James Baldwin has been particularly intense. This is in part due, of course, to his ability to analyze and articulate how power abuses through cunning and force and why, in the end, it’s up to the people to topple kingdoms.

“As a galvanizing humanitarian force, Baldwin is now being claimed as a kind of oracle. But by claiming him as such, much gets erased about the great artist in the process, specifically his sexuality and aestheticism, both of which informed his politics.” — Hilton Als*

GOD MADE MY FACE—A COLLECTIVE PORTRAIT OF JAMES BALDWIN—a group show curated by Hilton Als, featuring the work of Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Alvin Baltrop, Beauford Delaney, Marlene Dumas, Ja’Tovia Gary, Glenn Ligon, Alice Neel, Cameron Rowland, Kara WalkerJane Evelyn Atwood, and James Welling—is on view through mid-February.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Metrograph and Als will present a series of films featuring Baldwin through the years, at home and abroad.



Through February 16.

David Zwirner

525 and 533 West 19th Street, New York City.


Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2.


7 Ludlow Street, New York City.

See “The Energy of Joy: Hilton Als in conversation with David Bridel and Mary-Alice Daniel,” PARIS LA 16 (2019): 217–221.

From top: Marlene Dumas, James Baldwin, 2014, from the Great Men series exhibited at Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg, image credit: Marlene Dumas and Bernard Ruijgrok PiezographicsBeauford Delaney, Dark Rapture, 1941, oil on canvas; Alvin Baltrop, The Piers (man sitting), 1975-1986, photograph; Richard AvedonJames Baldwin, writer, Harlem, New York, 1945, © The Richard Avedon Foundation; Ja’Tovia Gary, An Ecstatic Experience, 2015, video still; Jane Evelyn AtwoodJames Baldwin with bust of himself sculpted by Larry Wolhandler, Paris, France, 1975 (detail), gelatin silver print. All images courtesy David Zwirner.


Montgomery Clift—along with Marlon Brando and James Dean—was the embodiment of the leading man-as-sensitive antihero in the American cinema of the 1950s. A decade after his death in 1966, Clift was the subject of two biographies. The first—Monty (1977), by Robert LaGuardia—was enjoyed by reader-voyeurs as a salacious romp through the intoxicated life of a beautiful acteur maudit. The second—Montgomery Clift: A Biography (1978), by Patricia Bosworth—was, alternately, deemed serious, “definitive,” and in every way superior to LaGuardia’s.

While watching the fascinating new documentary MAKING MONTGOMERY CLIFT, a question comes to mind: is LaGuardia’s book, in its way, the more honest of the two?

Bosworth—who has also written about Diane Arbus—established a rapport with and interviewed key members of Clift’s family. Her book was reviewed as a work of weighty scholarship, yet she took liberties with her material, and allegedly edited conversations to suit the slant of her book, which is a picture of an a deeply troubled actor tortured by his homosexuality.

MAKING MONTGOMERY CLIFT—receiving its world premiere tonight at the LA Film Festival—tells a different story, and calls out Bosworth’s treatment line by line. According to filmmakers Robert Clift (Monty’s nephew) and Hillary Demmon, Clift—within his circle—was blithe about his bisexuality, and remained enthusiastic about his craft until the end of his short life.

(The film largely sidesteps the actor’s alcohol and prescription drug intake following a catastrophic 1956 car crash in Beverly Hills which greatly altered his looks and his career. Clift was driving home from a party at his soul mate Elizabeth Taylor’s house, and the accident and its aftermath became fodder for The Clash when composing their 1979 London Calling song “The Right Profile.”)


Sunday, September 23, at 8:30.

Arclight Hollywood

6360 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

Montgomery Clift. All images courtesy The Film Collaborative.


Dodie Bellamy, from “Digging Through Kathy Acker’s Stuff” –

“Memory: Kathy entering a room in a silver bodysuit that looked like a prop from David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust tour, a tiny spacesuit that would fit a doll’s body. Everyone around her looking normal, in their diminished washed out way….

“Memory: Kathy holding court in a femmy short plaid dress, empire style, tight around the bust then flaring out. Some kind of frou frou at the shoulders. She looked like a clown, but a totally confident, powerful clown….

“The gap between our intentions and the effects we create is what Diane Arbus ruthlessly brought into her photographs—a gap, that whenever I recognize it, opens a pang of love in me. Kathy managed to create exactly the effect she intended, but her clownishness, her bald construction of a person also opened that gap. Aggressive trendiness slips into masochistic vulnerability. Again I think of 3-D glasses—whenever I watched Kathy it was like the red and blues didn’t quite line up. She moves through space, not singular, but a chord of being.”

Dodie Bellamy, “Digging Through Kathy Acker’s Stuff,” in When the Sick Rule the World (South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2015), 132.

Dodie Bellamy. Image credit: Numéro Cinq .



“… I remember one summer I worked a lot in Washington Square Park. It must have been about 1966. The park was divided. It has these walks, sort of like a sunburst, and there were these territories staked out. There were young hippie junkies down one row. There were lesbians down another, really tough amazingly hard-core lesbians. And in the middle were winos. They were like the first echelon and the girls who came from the Bronx to become hippies would have to sleep with the winos to get to sit on the other part with the junkie hippies.

“It was really remarkable. And I found it very scary… There were days I just couldn’t work there and then there were days I could…. I got to know a few of them. I hung around a lot… I was very keen to get close to them, so I had to ask to photograph them.” — Diane Arbus

DIANE ARBUS: IN THE PARK—at Lévy Gorvy in Manhattan—is the first exhibition to focus solely on Arbus’ photographs made in Central Park and Washington Square, theaters of public interaction that provided fertile territory for the creation of many of her most striking and original images. All of the works on view were made within four miles of where they are now exhibited.*

“A large part of the mystery of Arbus’s photographs lies in what they suggest about how her subjects felt after consenting to be photographed. Do they see themselves, the viewer wonders, like that?” — Susan Sontag


DIANE ARBUS: IN THE PARK, through June 24

LÉVY GORVY, 909 Madison Avenue at East 73rd Street, New York City


Diane Arbus, Susan Sontag and her son on bench, N.Y.C., 1965. Copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus.

Image result for diane arbus sontag

Susan Sontag and her son on bench, N.Y.C. 1965. Photograph by Diane Arbus Copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus Diane Arbus: In the Park, Lévy Gorvy

Susan Sontag and her son on bench, N.Y.C., 1965.
Photograph by Diane Arbus
Copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus: In the Park, Lévy Gorvy