Thursday, September 17, 2009

crazed little boy

Diane Arbus

Child with toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962

My first response to this picture was giggles. I then proceeded to assume this picture was a response to the rapid changes entering Amerca during this time period; that the young generation of America was straying away from the conservative ways of the 50's and would eventually end up in social revolution.

What drew me to this picture was the little boy's face and his scronny body. Looking closer I noticed his hands: clenching a toy grnade in his right and his left, firm in an almost open grasp. Also noticing that his jumper is hanging off his left shoulder, I wonder if his jumper was just too big for him or he was doing some stranious activity, or if it's something more than that and it represents another underlying factor? The contrast in the picture, the shadows, and aperture all leading to the little boy, make the people in the background blurred, thus removing their identities. I wonder if Arbus did this on purpose or not.

To me the little boy represents the past and near future America was about to be thrown into. The past being the 1950's which was associated with the "American Dream," and the future being the drawn out Vietnam war and the beginning of counter-culture lifestyles.


Where are the little boy's parents?

Why are all the people in the background blurred?

What was making the little boy make that face?

Do the the two trees behind the boy represent anything?

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