Thursday, September 17, 2009

Diane Arbus

"Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J., 1967"

This picture really interests me. Their creepiness imagine just makes you want to dig deep into the roots of the picture. Whenever I first glanced at this picture, they're two identical twins but they're not the same. They're around seven or eight years old. They're wearing matching outfits: white tights, corduroy dresses, and thick white headbands in their dark hair. The girls stand shoulder-to-shoulder, their light eyes looking straight into the camera, straight at us. And the more you look back at them -the more you stare -the more you realize how different they are from each other.

Photographer Neil Selkirk, who has been printing Arbus' photographs since her death said, was fastinated by this picture and said, "Just look at the set of their mouths," he says. "They're different people looking at different worlds and yet they might be the same person." Makes me think, what's behind their eyes that they're looking at "2 different worlds"?..what are they seeing?

Diane captures photographs of people who live on the edge of societal acceptance, as well as those photographs depicting supposedly "normal" people. Her subjects appear to be perfectly willing, if not eager, to reveal themselves and their flaws to her lens. Arbus biographer Patricia Bosworth says Arbus was involved in the question of identity. Who am i and who are you? The twin image expresses the point of that vision: normality in freakishness and the freakishness in normality. That's what this represents. This is just a picture yet the more you look the more in depth the picture goes and it's like an optical illusion. This is America and this picture represents just people, you may not get what you see when you first look at someone, especially "freaks" at first glance. You look at the world differently...


  1. I see the difference you are talking about. It seems like the little girl on the left...has some kind of evil essence to her. And the little girl on the right is the good little girl or princess of the two.

  2. Good girl, bad girl. Didn't I tell ya? It's ingrained in us. I never noticed the difference--as many times as I have looked at this photograph.

  3. When looking at this picture it really creeps me out. Its freaky looking. They kind of look possessed to me. But reading what you have wrote about the history about this photo really interests me. And i agree that when you really look at them they have a lot of differences.

  4. My mother is a twin and her sister ( my aunt) is the bad child while my mom is the good one. Its funny how you thought this in the picture but i think its true in alot of twins.

  5. My aunt has two sets of twins an in each pair there is the good an the bad one. Its funny how that seems to work out. The one of the left isnt smiling like the other but is that a decieving smile?

  6. i agree with pink10, the photo sort of creaps me out too. especially since the one on the left has an evil look on her face and the one of the right has a genuine little grin.but its a really cool photo

  7. i think this goes deeper then just capturing the adorable/creepy essense of two twin girls
    such as
    the twin to each of us,
    our choices and our decisons may not always be consistant to one another, so maybe we all have two sides.
    and evil and agood side
    maybe we should explore those sides whether to accept it or contain it.

  8. Hadn't thought of that daisy escape. You are right. Is one ever truly all good or all bad?