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Diane Arbus Quotes

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Diane Arbus Quote: “A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.”

A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.

— Diane Arbus



Diane Arbus Quote: “My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”

My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.”

Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.”

Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “The world is full of fictional characters looking for their stories.”

The world is full of fictional characters looking for their stories.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It’s what I’ve never seen before that I recognize.”

Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It’s what I’ve never seen before that I recognize.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do – that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.”

I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do – that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “We stand on a precipice, then before a chasm, and as we wait it becomes higher, wider, deeper, but I am crazy enough to think it doesn’t matter which way we leap because when we leap we will have learned to fly. Is that blasphemy or faith?”

We stand on a precipice, then before a chasm, and as we wait it becomes higher, wider, deeper, but I am crazy enough to think it doesn’t matter which way we leap because when we leap we will have learned to fly. Is that blasphemy or faith?

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I think all families are creepy in a way.”

I think all families are creepy in a way.

— Diane Arbus



Diane Arbus Quote: “We’ve all got an identity. You can’t avoid it. It’s what’s left when you take everything else away.”

We’ve all got an identity. You can’t avoid it. It’s what’s left when you take everything else away.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Take pictures of what you fear.”

Take pictures of what you fear.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “If you scrutinize reality closely enough, if in some way you really, really get to it, it becomes fantastic.”

If you scrutinize reality closely enough, if in some way you really, really get to it, it becomes fantastic.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I mean, if you’ve ever spoken to someone with two heads, you know they know something you don’t.”

I mean, if you’ve ever spoken to someone with two heads, you know they know something you don’t.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “There’s a kind of power thing about the camera. I mean everyone knows you’ve got some edge. You’re carrying some magic which does something to them. It fixes them in a way.”

There’s a kind of power thing about the camera. I mean everyone knows you’ve got some edge. You’re carrying some magic which does something to them. It fixes them in a way.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.”

The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “And the revelation was a little like what saints receive on mountains – a further chapter in the history of the mystery.”

And the revelation was a little like what saints receive on mountains – a further chapter in the history of the mystery.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I’m very little drawn to photographing people that are known or even subjects that are known. They fascinate me when I’ve barely heard of them.”

I’m very little drawn to photographing people that are known or even subjects that are known. They fascinate me when I’ve barely heard of them.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I tend to think of the act of photographing, generally speaking, as an adventure. My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”

I tend to think of the act of photographing, generally speaking, as an adventure. My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”

Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.

— Diane Arbus



Diane Arbus Quote: “Everything is so superb and breathtaking. I am creeping forward on my belly like they do in war movies.”

Everything is so superb and breathtaking. I am creeping forward on my belly like they do in war movies.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don’t quite mean they’re my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe.”

Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don’t quite mean they’re my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Photography was a license to go wherever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do.”

Photography was a license to go wherever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Nudists are fond of saying that when you come right down to it everyone is alike, and, again, that when you come right down to it everyone is different.”

Nudists are fond of saying that when you come right down to it everyone is alike, and, again, that when you come right down to it everyone is different.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “It’s important to take bad pictures. It’s the bad ones that have to do with what you’ve never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn’t seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again.”

It’s important to take bad pictures. It’s the bad ones that have to do with what you’ve never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn’t seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “When you’re growing up your mother says, “Wear rubbers or you’ll catch cold.” When you become an adult you discover that you have the right not to wear rubbers and to see if you catch cold or not. It’s something like that.”

When you’re growing up your mother says, “Wear rubbers or you’ll catch cold.” When you become an adult you discover that you have the right not to wear rubbers and to see if you catch cold or not. It’s something like that.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.”

I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience.”

Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Lately I’ve been struck with how I really love what you can’t see in a photograph. An actual physical darkness. And it’s very thrilling for me to see darkness again.”

Lately I’ve been struck with how I really love what you can’t see in a photograph. An actual physical darkness. And it’s very thrilling for me to see darkness again.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “The discouragement masquerades as the impossibility.”

The discouragement masquerades as the impossibility.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.”

For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “These are characters in a fairy tale for grown-ups. Wouldn’t it be lovely? Yes.”

These are characters in a fairy tale for grown-ups. Wouldn’t it be lovely? Yes.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “One thing that struck me early is that you don’t put into a photograph what’s going to come out. Or, vice versa, what comes out is not what you put in.”

One thing that struck me early is that you don’t put into a photograph what’s going to come out. Or, vice versa, what comes out is not what you put in.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “If I didn’t have a camera, the things I do would be crazy.”

If I didn’t have a camera, the things I do would be crazy.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Everybody has that thing where they need to look one way but they come out looking another way and that’s what people observe.”

Everybody has that thing where they need to look one way but they come out looking another way and that’s what people observe.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “It’s always seemed to me that photography tends to deal with facts whereas film tends to deal with fiction.”

It’s always seemed to me that photography tends to deal with facts whereas film tends to deal with fiction.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I think the most beautiful inventions are the ones you don’t think of.”

I think the most beautiful inventions are the ones you don’t think of.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “One thing I would never photograph is a dog lying in the mud.”

One thing I would never photograph is a dog lying in the mud.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle.”

There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “The camera is a kind of license.”

The camera is a kind of license.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I mean, it’s very subtle and a little embarrassing to me, but I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them.”

I mean, it’s very subtle and a little embarrassing to me, but I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “It would be beautiful to photograph the winners of everything from Nobel to booby prize, clutching trophy, or money or certificate, solemn or smiling or tear stained or bloody, on the precarious pinnacle of the human landscape.”

It would be beautiful to photograph the winners of everything from Nobel to booby prize, clutching trophy, or money or certificate, solemn or smiling or tear stained or bloody, on the precarious pinnacle of the human landscape.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “One of the risks of appearing in public is the likelihood of being photographed.”

One of the risks of appearing in public is the likelihood of being photographed.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “It gets to seem as if way back in the Garden of Eden after the fall, Adam and Eve had begged the Lord to forgive them and He, in his boundless exasperation, had said, “All right, then. Stay. Stay in the Garden. Get civilized. Procreate. Muck it up.” And they did.”

It gets to seem as if way back in the Garden of Eden after the fall, Adam and Eve had begged the Lord to forgive them and He, in his boundless exasperation, had said, “All right, then. Stay. Stay in the Garden. Get civilized. Procreate. Muck it up.” And they did.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.”

I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “I think it does, a little, hurt to be photographed.”

I think it does, a little, hurt to be photographed.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “The condition of photographing is maybe the condition of being on the brink of conversion to anything.”

The condition of photographing is maybe the condition of being on the brink of conversion to anything.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “The camera is cruel, so I try to be as good as I can to make things even.”

The camera is cruel, so I try to be as good as I can to make things even.

— Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus Quote: “Shoot for the secrets, develop for the surprises.”

Shoot for the secrets, develop for the surprises.

— Diane Arbus

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