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Hayward Gallery, LondonArbus’s early works show a fully-formed photographer – from squalor to showbiz, she makes everyone exceptional Diane Arbus was everywhere in New York between 1956 and 1962. On the streets and in Central Park, on the subway, in movie theatres and diners, on Coney Island and in New Jersey homes, in grim apartments, in revue dressing rooms, at the circus and in the morgue. With her 35mm camera and her eye, her ability to confront, cajole and to seduce, her talent was as much one of gaining trust – or at least something more than tacit refusal – from her subjects. Diane Arbus, In the Beginning focuses on these first eight years of her work as an independent photographer, following over a decade in the fashion photography business, where she and her husband Allan Arbus worked together, he as photographer, she as stylist and art director. The exhibition, which has travelled to the Hayward from the Metropolitan Museum in New York, is filled with strange encounters, not least with ordinary people. Just as German photographer August Sander never reduced his subjects to their roles (some of them appear to have managed that without any outside help), so life spills out of Arbus’s images. Continue reading...