"What I'm trying to describe is that it's impossible to get out of your skin into somebody else's.... That somebody else's tragedy is not the same as your own."
My friend Cathy lent me the biography of the photographer Diane Arbus after we were talking a about her. I devoured the book in 24 hours and feel that I have had a glimpse into this extraordinary woman's life. I love her paradox's and ambiguities such as the fact that she was hugely shy and had very low self-esteem yet she found the boldness to ask many strangers to take their photos even going to nudist camps to photograph.
I love the stories of Diane throwing on her camera at midnight to catch the train to the seediest parts of NewYork and take photos of so called 'freaks'. She was terrified yet that very fear was the thing that drove her.
Being afraid yet following that fear was what made Diane feel alive. She took photos of 'freaks' to overcome hers and the rest of societies desire to look away. By taking a photo of the tranvestites, develop-delayed, nudists etc we are once again allowed to look at them and their humanity is once again reclaimed.