San Francisco Threatened By Photography

SFMOMA’s new exhibit could affect many lives of people by experiencing the photos of Diane Arbus.

The exhibit that is displayed about Diane Arbus in the SFMOMA could be nothing more than a warning sign. Her exhibit only showcased in New York and now has made it’s way to San Francisco. Two of the largest cities in the United States known for many disasters to occur.

Diane Arbus was born in 1923 and committed suicide in 1971 which could explain the reason why her photos were so dark and mysterious. As I was walking through the exhibit I had come across a picture of Dracula that was hanging on the wall that was isolated from the rest of the photos. Her work mostly focused on “freaks” as she described in her documentary. San Francisco is known for many weird, awkward freaks and crazy people, as well as people jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge ending their life.

Most of her photos were pictures of people. She liked to capture the moment and most of those moments reflected people after the difficult times in the past. She began her work of photography during World War II. These emotions in the photos could have been an early sign Diane was trying give before she ended her life. She was showing her pain through her photos, but most people thought it was just her style.

Diane Arbus had ingested barbiturates and cut her wrists with a razor to kill herself. She was only the age of 48 and was known to have “depressive episodes” like her mother had. Her depression had an affect on her work however, many of the people hardly smiled in her photographs. Everyone seemed to be in fear or depressed even after the war. There was a man named Jack Dracula that seemed to be photographed multiple of times in her work. He also perhaps looked like the guy as Dracula I had seen.

Studiointernational.com, Diane Arbus

As from the year 1937–2012, 1,600 bodies have been recovered from people who have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. Jack Dracula lived from the year 1935–2011 and after his death, less and less people have been jumping off the bridge. As a fact, in 2013, 118 potential jumpers had been talked down from their attempt in jumping. Many of these people ranged from the age 24–50, the same age when Diane Arbus took her life at 48.

Diane Arbus and Jack Dracula were never really friends during their lives. Everything was just business to them. Jack Dracula however, could have had an influence on Diane’s death. The people Diane photographed only appeared once in her photos whereas Jack was seen multiple times. They were two secretive people with a lot of mystery in their hands. Her exhibit here could be her “Life after death” experience since San Francisco still reflects the New York culture here as it did in the 1940’s.

Diane Arbus’ work did not become more famous until after her death. The exhibit is only temporary and ends on April 30th at SFMOMA. In about two months Diane Arbus and Jack Dracula would have left their mark in San Francisco that could essentially turn into a curse. The future can only tell when it comes.