This creates a jarring impact on the viewers as they are forced to give respect to the subjects that they would otherwise ignore if they get a chance to meet them on the streets.
For this paper, three photographs by Arbus would be analyzed, namely Hermaphrodite and a dog in a carnival trailer, A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, NY and Child with a toy grenade, Central Park, NY .
In this photograph, Arbus has photographed a hermaphrodite. The photograph captures the style and concept of other Arbus’ photograph. The picture seems quite ordinary except for the subject. If the main subject was removed from the picture, there would have been nothing interesting in the picture and yet it is the subject who changes the entire meaning of the picture.
The Hermaphrodite stares back at the camera. He is not smiling and neither is he frowning. Rather, it seems that the hermaphrodite is conscious of getting his picture. This, however, does not fit with the body posture of the subject. It is the lack of pose in the body posture that makes the picture more compelling. The picture is quite ordinary in the way the Hermphrodite is relaxing on the chair but it is the same feeling of the oridinary that brings forth the emotion of the viewers to the surface. The picture seems to be challenging the viewer to accept the Hermaphrodite as a part of the society.
The subject is partially nude, and yet he does not shy away by attempting to cover himself with his hands. He wears shiny undergarments which show that the subject is getting ready for a show or has just come back from one.
The presence of the dog lends a personal touch to the photograph. It tells something about the subject even if it is as ordinary as the fact that the subject owns a dog that loves enough to share the photograph with. It is was not for the title of the photography, many viewers would have missed the small dog lying on the lap of the Hermaphrodite.
Arbus, in this