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Diane Arbus

A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y.C.

1970

Diane Arbus applied techniques of documentary photography to capture offbeat groups of people, including transvestites, dwarfs, nudists, and others whose uncommon outward appearance intrigued her. By photographing them on the street, alone in their bedrooms or living rooms, in oddly paired duos, or in ironic political or social situations, she humanized her subjects, and her images seem to be quick snapshots rather than the carefully wrought portraits that they are. The “giant” of A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y.C. has a mythic quality, as his diminutive parents quizzically peer up at him; here, her nonjudgmental approach yields a powerful and lasting image that underscores her subjects’ humanity.

Diane Arbus (b. 1923, New York; d. 1971, New York)
A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y.C., 1970
Gelatin-silver print
15 x 15 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Photography Collection

For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture. And more complicated. And what it’s of is always more remarkable than what it is. —Diane Arbus