Artist: Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971).
Title: "Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, New York [medium format]".
Medium: Original vintage photogravure.
Date: Composed 1962. Printed 1972.
Dimensions: Overall size: 11 x 9 1/4 in. (279 x 235 mm). Image size: 8 1/2 x 8 3/8 in. (216 x 213 mm).
Lot Note(s): Stamped with the photographer's name, verso. Edition size unspecified, presumed small. High-grade archival paper. Printed to the edge of the sheet. Fine, quality printing. Very good to fine condition. Comment(s): According to “Gordon’s Photography Prices” the auction record for a silver print of this image is $511,500 realized at Christie's, New York, 4/6/2017, lot #12. This edition authorized and supervised by Doon Arbus. Diane Arbus’s direct, confrontational approach to photography meant that her subjects did not always like their portraits. After seeing his, the writer Norman Mailer famously said, "giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child". Here the grenade is just a toy, yet Arbus again makes an unconventional portrait of her subject. On the contact sheet, it is evident that Arbus did make ‘typical’ portraits of the boy smiling, but she chose to print only this unusual shot. He stands stiffly, his hands clenched like claws, with a crazed expression on his face. The portrait seems sinister, yet it could reflect something more ordinary – the exasperation of any child made to stand still and have his picture taken (courtesy National Gallery of Scotland). Image copyright © 1972 The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC. [30109-2-800]