Diane ArbusAmerican (New York City, New York, 1923 - 1971, New York City, New York)
Neil Selkirk, PrinterAmerican, born England (London, England, 1947)
Retired man and his wife at home in a nudist camp one morning, N.J.
Feeling confined by middle-class norms, in the 1950s Arbus abandoned the successful commercial photography business she had built with her husband, Alan, and began a new life as a street photographer. Fascinated by the lives of people on the margins of proper society, she photographed individuals shunned by the mainstream due to accidents of birth or unusual life choices: circus performers, transvestites, dwarves, interracial couples, strippers, homosexuals, nudists.
This photograph of a retired couple sitting in their living room depicts a collision of the ordinary and the extraordinary. Except for the fact that the subjects, who are old enough to be grandparents, are completely nude, the scene is unremarkable. Arbus reveled in such awkward juxtapositions, which challenge conventional oppositions of the normal and the deviant.