Diane Arbus (1923-1971) pioneered a now widespread black and white photographic technique employing classic 19th century portraiture and human subjects surrounded by their elements. Her photos, startling, blunt, and controversial, often depict the pariahs of society such as transvestites, dwarfs, and nudists. Topless Dancer in Her Dressing Room, San Francisco (1968), taken three years prior to Arbus’ death, exemplifies her ability to capture human subjects at their most pedestrian, whether they’re seated on a park bench or relaxing in a strip club back room after a performance. Equipped with a shoddy mirror, a gnarly coat hanger, and makeshift cooling system, the confining dressing corner is no longer a mystery to the voyeur, yet the topless dancer in her stage finery remains alluringly out of reach.
– Paul Des Marais, Contributing Writer
Topless Dancer in Her Dressing Room, San Francisco
Silver Gelatin print
Image: 14.75″ x 14.75″; Frame: 21.25″ x 17″
Estimate $12,000 – $15,000
To be offered in May 6, 2012 Modern Art & Design Auction