Diane Arbus, ‘Seated female impersonator with arms crossed on her bare chest, N.Y.C.’, 1960, Phillips

“I am full of a sense of promise, like I often have, the feeling of always being at the beginning.” -Arbus July 1957

Seated female impersonator with arms crossed on her bare chest, N.Y.C., 1960 was one from a series of photographs of female impersonators that Diane Arbus began in 1959. Mainly featuring members of the Jewel Box Revue, a touring company who performed in clubs throughout New York City, these images were made backstage, thus capturing the performers as they transition from man to woman and back again.

This striking and exquisite photograph was printed by Arbus. Another print of this image is in included in the current major retrospective at the Met Breuer, diane arbus: in the beginning, which focuses on her fundamental early work from the years 1956-1962.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: Stamped 'A Diane Arbus Print', signed by Doon Arbus, Executor, in ink, and Estate copyright credit reproduction limitation stamps on the verso.

Rosenheim, diane arbus: in the beginning, p. 171

About Diane Arbus

American photographer Diane Arbus is famous for her poignant portraits of individuals on the margins of society, such as street people, transvestites, nudists, and carnival performers. Arbus’s work is highly controversial, eliciting in some viewers an overwhelming sense of compassion, while others find her images bizarre and disturbing. Her practice challenged established conventions dictating the distance between photographer and subject, resulting in the raw psychological intensity that characterizes her photographic portraiture.

American, 1923-1971, New York, New York