lundi 27 février 2012

Urban life

Security Digicode
This photo represents a digicode, it was taken in an entrance hall of a building in Asnières. The colour of the digicode is grey, rather metallic grey.
Like all digicodes, there are figures and letters. The keys are also composed of a Braille system for blind people.

Nowadays, digicodes are not only present in Asnières' buildings, they are everywhere. If you enter any building wherever on Earth, I am quite sure that you would find a digicode.

We can relate the colour maybe to a stronghold. Only people who know the code can enter, strangers can't bother you.

People like the idea that they are safe in their homes, that nothing can happen to them, that murderers or thieves won't be able to infringe on their intimacy. 


Fast-paced urban life

This photo was taken in Asnieres. Every detail of this picture can show the fast pace of urban life.
First we can see a scooter, which is now a convenient means of transport because it can be fast, especially when there are traffic jams – something typical in town.
There is a meter  on the pavement too. In town, car-drivers can park their motor-vehicles, but only for a short time.
Besides, we see Mac Donalds’ sign and we all know the “Golden Arches” mean cheap and fast food. This kind of fast restoration is totally urban because people are eager to eat: they are students or workers for a company, and don’t want to devote a lot of money and time to their meal.

Elisa. M.

dimanche 12 février 2012

Xmas tree in living room in Levinttown

     This photo was taken in 1963, in Long Island. It shows a living room at Christmas time, in the background, we can see an over-decorated Christmas tree with a lot of presents. The top of the tree seems cut and the star on the right looks like a Christmas tree decoration, as if the room was too little for a so high tree. It contrasts with the empty room.
     If I was inside the photo, I would run and open all the presents but I would feel worried because there is no one.
     Diane Arbus is a real artist, she manages to take pictures on which people looks unprepared and try to hide what they really are.
     If you can, go there to see this exhibition, it's disturbing but fascinating!

samedi 11 février 2012

Daine Arbus - Blonde girl with shiny lipstick, N.Y.C, 1967

"Blonde girl with shiny lipstick" is a photograph of a woman wearing a lot of make-up. To hide some spots on her face, she wears foundation cream with shiny lipstick and eye-liner. She had a blow dry with her very blonde hair and she has a bang on her forehead.
Daine Arbus used an interesting way to show the importance of fashion in the sixties. We could understand that the girl wants to look like Marilyn Monroe. She is like a Barbie, she seems to be in plastic.
The title mentions that the girl is wearing a shiny lipstick. We can consider that it was an important detail for Diane Arbus, even it's difficult to say why. She might insist on her superficial side. She's probably at a party but it's not completely sure: maybe the girl usually wore as much make-up as in this photo.
However, Diane Arbus didn't take this photo by chance. She controls everything, lights, details, the dark background.
I think it's a very interesting exhibition. Everyone can see it beacause there is a lot of choice. All photographs are different and unique. Amateurs and professionals could appreciate all the details of each picture. Thanks to the exhibition, photography is now an easier world to understand.

vendredi 10 février 2012

Diane Arbus-The Backwards man in his hotel room, 1961, N.Y.C

In this black and white photo, we can see a man in the middle of his hotel room. He is looking to the left but his feet are turned towards the right. We can see his profile. He seems very focused and lost. He is wearing a long coat.
The room seems quite small. In front of the man, there are a bed, two chairs and behind him a mirror. A light bulb is hanging from the ceilling. There is a window in the room and the sutter is down.
This photo is quite strange, indeed the man's feet are turned in the wrong direction (compareed to his head). I think that Diane Arbus made this work with the help of a contortionnist.
In my opinion, the photo shows a paradox. The man is maybe thinking about his past (that's why he is looking to the left) and wants to stay in it, but it is impossible. So, his feet are turned towards the other side, meaning that he has to move on, and in a way the man wants to move on. He is at a loss and seems to be thinking about something sad.
It is a nostalgic photo, because everyone one day in his life wants to go back in his past but can't.
I found this exhibition very interesting because Diane arbus has a particular look at life and all of her photos have a hidden message.


jeudi 9 février 2012

Identical twins (1967)

Diane Arbus was born on 1923 and died in 1971. She is a key in the history of 20th century art. This exhibition presents a selection of 200 photographs like this photo called "Identical twins" taken in 1967. Diane Arbus said "A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know".
Diane Arbus had taken this photo of twins. She was fascinated by twinning. Two identical sisters are dressed the same way with black dresses with a white collar and a white head band. They are on the street. The only difference between twins is the contrast in their facial expressions. The girl on the left is sad, she has a blank stare and the girl on the right is happy, she is smiling. So they are identical but they don't feel the same.
It interested me because twins are so identical and different at the same time ! It's disturbing.
I would ask the artist about this work if she were here because I would know where this was taken exactly and why she tooks twins. I would give a tittle to this photo "Identical but different" or "a different fate".
I think this photograph was taken one Sunday afternoon (girls are well dressed), maybe in spring. I suppose the artist made this photo because they had different visions of life so I suppose that it interested Diane a lot.
I think everybody should see this exhibition, in particular people whose like photography and would be fascinated or disturbed. This exhibition is at "Jeu de Paume" museum place de La Concorde in Paris.
 Go there. Don't hesitate.

Diane Arbus - Two Boys Smoking in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962

This Diane Arbus' black-and-white photo shows two teenage boys, looking lazily at the camera and dressed like adults. Their clothes don't fit them, they're too wide. Those boys are smoking. They don't look like any other youth, but like any other youth, they want to look cool for the others. But they're standing alone between Central Park's trees. There's nobody else, the park is empty around them
They are alone. But perhaps this little Black American and this Hispanic boy want to integrate society, to grow up faster. They're looking for their own identity by copying what seems to them the best sign of grown-up behaviour.
If we forget the boys' 60s-typical clothes, this photo could have been taken nowadays. You can see in the street some youngsters who already smoke at the early age of 11 and you won't tell them to stop because it's bad for their health. Because like them you think they're grown-up.
Diane Arbus may have told them, or maybe not. But we're sure she took the time to talk with those boys and to understand them. She couldn't know that this photo would be still to the point today.
What is surely the most to the point and the most striking in Diane Arbus' work of art is the loneliness of the people she photographed and their way to seek or hide who they are really. And that's why you should see her exhibition.


The title of the picture is very simple : boxer. The photo is very simple too, we can see a boxer, alone in a training room, where the only thing there is is a boxing bag. The boxer is hitting at the bag, letting hios rage come out ... It's an old photo, in black and white so if the boxer didn't already have all these muscles, we could easily identify ourselves in this picture. This training room is really empty, we can guess that the boxer is very poor, and his boxing club too.

This photo reminds me a lot of things. First of, when I see this photograph, I remember, I remember my beginnings at boxing in my room, where there are just bags, nothing else, and where there isn't a lot of light. It reminds me that the boxer is someone who fights to exist. The rage is the only things he has to face life. I found this photo very interesting because we just see a man hitting at a bag, but it means really more. To me, this guy might have a lot of problems and he's making theme come out.

I thniks the artist didn't work alot to take this picture, she just took a photo of a normal training session. I think that we can see his dispair. So this photo is about the fact that boxing is really more than a sport, it makes you beome a better person, I know it because I did boxing, and I really have rage to punch out, so I punched a training bag. So Diane Arbus wants to show that everyone has rage, and everyone is making it come out, in this case, by boxing.

I think Diane Arbus made a really good job, because we see all a reality with a simple photo. I don't know if people who did'nt do boxing will be able to appreciate this photo, or maybe they will appreciate it but in a different way ... I think that boxing is a very special feeling that yoyu can't even imagine. If i owned this picture, I would put it on a wall and I would watch it everyday, to remember that life is a fight.

I've never been a very big fan of Art, but I tried to put out of my head my prejudices for this exhibition. Even if I found it quit interesting because of the messages that there are in the pictures, like tolerance, courrage etc ... I would'nt pay to see that. But I learnt that a picture is really more than a simple image, a picture is longer than a book, there's a big story in everyone.

Diane Arbus, Lady Bartender at Home with a Souvenir dog

Among the photos of the exhibition, there is a pretty funny one. It's divided into two parts; on the right side, there is a woman with a huge topknot. She's not seated properly, as if she were an animal. On the other side, you can see a souvenir dog- she wanted to pay tribute to her dog who died. When I saw this photo, it immediately reminded me of a quote which says that sometimes, " a dog is his masters' look alike". The woman's hairdress is exactly like the dog's fur- heavy and blond. The mirror in the background recalls their similarity.
If Arbus were here, I would ask her what she wanted to show through this photo - perhaps her aim was to represent how important an animal can be for a human, to such an extent that they tend to be similar? Arbus' work generates meditation, which is pretty interesting.


lundi 6 février 2012

Diane Arbus - Child selling plastic orchids at night, NYC, 1963

Child selling plastic orchids at night, N.Y.C. 1963

It's the night. In the background, I can see lights of New York, City. And in the foreground, a little Eastern-looking girl messyhaired. In her hands, she holds plastic orchids. She's looking at the camera. In her look, I guess fear. She's asking for help. She looks innocent. She doesn't know where she is from, nor where she is going. She doesn't know, the truth is hidden. By who? Her masters, her parents -if she has some-, everyone. The lights of NY seem to give her a future. As a star in the night that she will have to find to light her way.

In this photo, I feel like a stranger. She is seven, eight, nine maybe. However I feel immature next to her. Her reality made her grow up faster. I feel different but close to her. I see her need, but I wouldn't buy her orchids. It's useless tome, and useless to her. Useful forthe persons who takes advantages of her. I don't want to sanction this. So I ignore, as everybody else does. I try to forget her look, forget how she was dressed, her age, her hoplessness. And I do, as all the little girls I saw before.

Diane Arbus is the photographr. How did she get so much from this little girl? It's the result of a lot of work, which consists t know the model. To talk with him. To be trusted. I personally think this is a great job. It's not only photography it is  real statement. If I could give you a piece ofadvice, jus jump, run, fly to this exhibition. You won't come back the same.


The Diane Arbus exhibition

The photo that I have in mind is a picture of an old lady sitting in an armchair in a living-room. She looks very calm, she's knitting peacefully. She's probably watching TV because her eyes are focused on something. The photo is framed as if we could see all the living-room or as if the lady was part of the background. On the left of the room, there is an empty armchair, and a lamp. Maybe someone owned that chair in the past. In the middle of the picture, we can see a big window with long white curtains. This window brings a lot of light in the living-room, even if it is a black and white photo. The woman's face expression is quite sad and nostalgic.

This picture reminds me of the loneliness of the lady, how it made her sad and tired. To my mind, this woman is probably a widow who recently lost her husband. I think that the empty chair was her husband's and that even if her husband is gone, she keeps her routine in order to deny reality.

When I saw this picture for the first time I thought that she was an old lady in her retirement house.
I guess that Diane Arbus tried to show the loneliness of the woman by infringing in her privacy, her life. She took of her typical routine. Maybe the lady is knitting in front of her TV everyday.

If I could ask a question to Diane Arbus, I would ask her how she managed to show her solitude that well.

I think this exhibition is very impressive because we could all see the real nature of people in Diane Arbus' photos. I found it really outstanding because she shows people while they are in transition like tranvestites or girls putting on their make up etc.
Now I can see photography differently because it made me think that every photo is telling us a story, it is not just a short moment that the photographer is taking, it is the story of their whole life.
Diane Arbus is taking pictures of different people, unusual people that we can't meet everyday in the street. She wants to shatter the stereotypes of society.

Hortense, 2ndeM

Diane Arbus, James Brown at home (1966)

If you could not see this photo, I would say that you must know who is in the photo because it's the center of it. It's James Brown, one of the greatest artists of the 1960s. This man is looking up to the light because he is putting on make-up. He is very different from us because he lives a celebrity's life although he is at home, he has to hide himself.
This photo illustrates me of the mood of the exhibition because it shows that people are always changing. I recognized the make-up, his clothes, Japanese or Chinese ideogrammes. But I've never seen someone changing in all their life. If people are always changing, everyone is like everyone and we can't recognize the real personality.
She made this photo to show that celebritites hadn't got a real personnality and for the public they must disguise themselves and after  their personnality. Why ? There are sociological elements because it denounced the consumption society so the title could be "come as you are" or "be what you are, not what they tell you to be"
I think it's in the morning after waking up, someone put make up on James Brown.
It's like producing a film, before you are on-stage, but it's not (I think).

"Two ladies at the automat" a photo of Diane Arbus

I chose to describe a photo entitled "Two ladies at the automat", which was taken in 1961. This black and white photograph shows two old women sitting at the table of a self-service. They are smocking while waiting for their orders. They seem really to take care of themselves. They use make-up, their eyesbrown are drawn, they wear jewellery....

These two women attracted my attention because I find them really expressive. They look alike so they may be sisters. I feel a real complicity between them. I have the feeling that the woman on the right is leaning toward the other as she wants to tell her something about Diane Arbus. I imagine tham before Diane Arbus arrived, talking, gossiping about their entourage.

I think Diane Arbus photographed them because they are heavely made-up, and their looks seem to really matter for them inspite of their age. Diane Arbus interested in people who transformed themselves. Here, these two women have grown old but Diane Arbus highlights that they are still young girls at heart.


A dwarf in his hotel room in New York City,1970

The dwarf seems proud to be what he is. He's different but he doesn't have any complex. The room doesn't seem tooo expensive, it seems affordable for everybody.
This photo reminds me of people who are discriminated against just because of their body. When I see this photo, I am most interested by the attitude of the dwarf which is an example for each of us.
I think thzt the artist, first knew the man and then was able to take a photo, which makes an effect on the viewer. We can "read" different elements

Diane Arbus - "A masked woman in a wheelchair"

At Diane's Arbus exhibition, a photograph particularly strucked me. Diane Arbus called it "A masked woman in a wheelchair".
On the foreground, a handicaped person who is probably elderly is holding a witch mask to hide her face. She is sitting in a wheelchair and she is covered with a blanket, maybe, she could not walk anymore.
On the background, a typical sixties house is depicted , I suppose it's the lady's house or her retirement home.

The most important in the picture is the mask because we cannot see her face and feelings, then, we can imagine whatever we want.
When you are behind a mask, no matter who you are, the woman can go out of her condition and have fun.
I consider this image impressive, the lady makes me smile.
So, to this photograph, I would give the title: "Change your life, wear a mask"
Accoding to me, Diane Arbus did a good work because to enjoy the image you have to think over it, to look for the signification of the mask and the wheelchair.

The exhibition was an experience, with Arbus' photos you can think about your condition and see everyone as a human being in spite of the differences.

A lobby in a building

This photo represents a sea-side landscape, with some trees in the foreground and in the background. The spectator's look is focused on a vertical line in the right side of the photo, from the top to the bottom.Then, he bents to read the title : 'A lobby in a building'.

In fact, the landscape is a 'trompe l'oeil' printed on a wall, and the line is the angle of the lobby. The photo is taken is such a way that the spectator see the two perpendicular plans as it was a single one : the landscape.


Diane Arbus : An obese lady with her dog

This photo represents an obese lady with her dog in her arms. She's sitting on a chair that matches her size. the lady is wearing a huge dress with stripes. We're captivated by her fat body, we're almost hypnotized by her size, her face, her posture.

This lady reminds me of an obese man I met in New York City. He was sitting on a bench in Central Park with his dog walking around him. I really felt interested in her case. She's fat, and she needs to show her obesity in her circus to earn money. That's the tragic point of view of the photograph.

I think that Diane Arbus met this woman in the street like lots of her models. Maybe she was feeling compassion for this poor lady, and that's why she wanted to take this photo. I suppose that if I was next to this lady I would feel guilty, I don't even know why. Maybe because in every society, this type of people will be marginalized.

Diane Arbus definitely did a good job. She showed another reality, the picture highlights the differences between her and us.
We're not the sam but we should look at her and not feel disturbed and uneasy: she seems happy with her dog, she's smiling.

All the exhibition is a bit disturbing but Diane's job is really well done and all these different types of photo made the exhibition diversified. 
Elisa C

Diane Arbus

                                                  Diane Arbus : A veteran with a flag

Diane Arbus (1923-1971) is a New-York photographer.
Two hundreds of her photos are now exhibited at the museum "Le Jeu de Paume", Paris.
Her photographs are all in black and white. She took principally portraits of different people (prostitutes, transvestites, mongoloid children, blind people...).
Some of her photos have a kind of eroticism about them, but it is art.

One of these photo represents a man with an American flag in his right hand and a veteran cap on his head. He is probably a veteran from World War II or the Vietnam war because this photo was taken in 1970.
We suppose that this photo was taken in New-York City because we can see skycrapers in the background.

This man looks sad. He is looking away. Maybe he remembers the horror of war or maybe he lost a friend.
Patriotism is very important in America and it is probably for that reason that he has got an American flag.

If I was inside thos photo, I would feel sadness, admiration for these men who fought for their country.

The title, Veterant with a flag, is perfect. When we see the words "veteran" and "flag"', we immediatly understand that it is about war and patriotism.

To conclude, her photos are enthralling . Each of them is fraught with meaning.