Sotheby's New York, 11 October 2005, Sale 8115, Lot 180
Palm Beach, Norton Museum of Art, Masterpiece of the Month, May - June 2014
Diane Arbus: Revelations (New York, 2003), pp. 104-5, 164, and 208
Diane Arbus: In the Beginning (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016), p. 257
James L. Enyeart, Language of Light: A Survey of the Photography Collection of the University of Kansas Museum of Art (Lawrence, 1974), pl. 8
The Graham Nash Collection (Los Angeles, 1978), p. 30
Photography/Venice '79 (New York, 1979), p. 336
Alfred Appel, Jr., Signs of Life (New York, 1983), p. 84
Jonathan Green, American Photography: A Critical History 1945 to the Present (New York, 1984), p. 119
Peter Turner, ed., American Images: Photography 1945-1980 (London: Barbican Art Gallery, 1985), p. 154
Peter Galassi, American Photography 1890-1965 from The Museum of Modern Art (New York, 1995), p. 243
Arbus’s best images demonstrate the photographer’s uncanny ability to interact and empathize with her sitters, and in this photograph Arbus has entered the complex and brilliant world of the child with a vengeance. This iconic photograph was one of seven negatives Arbus made of the same young boy mugging for the camera. Its subject was seven year-old Colin Wood, whose privileged upbringing on the Upper East Side was offset by his parents’ impending divorce. Arbus’s pick from the contact sheet, translated into the large-format photograph offered here, is the most interesting, perverse, and emotionally resonant of the images from that sitting: the child as anarchist, fed up with the things and people around him, ready to lob his five-and-dime grenade and escape.
‘Giving a camera to Diane is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.’ – Norman Mailer
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