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Diane Arbus’ photography is more in demand than ever…

A rare artist’s print of Diane Arbus’ sensational, 1966 photograph Identical Twins Cathleen and Colleen sold for $602,500 in New York on Tuesday (April 2).


Acquired directly from Arbus, who tended to concentrate her creative energies on the more freakish, deviant and surreal aspects of American life, the silver gelatine print brought a 173.9% increase on its $220,000 estimate, justifiably leading Phillips’ latest photography auction.

The price represents a new auction record for Arbus’ work.

In 1967 Arbus acknowledged: “In some societies twins are taboo, an aberration.”

“I thought how ordinary is a charming pair of twins.”

Arbus presents her twins in a manner which is at once endearing and unsettling. While the pair’s likeness is emphasized by their identical hairstyles and party dresses, a number of discrete and crucial differences (gaze, smile, stance) reveal two very distinct personalities.

Arbus biographer Patricia Bosworth identified the photographer’s ability to depict the “freakishness in normalcy and the normalcy in freakishness”. Identical Twins Cathleen and Colleen epitomises such bifocal proclivities; remaining among her most recognised and celebrated snapshots.

An online auction of 41 lesser known Diane Arbus prints is currently underway at Christie’s (March 29 – April 12), while here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we too have a number of art and photography treasures in stock.


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3 responses »

  1. Steve Brumwell

    Hi Paul – I am launching a very ambitious online/social project aimed initially at a very specific section of collectors across “geek” memorabilia and wondered if I could post on your site please

    • Hi Steve,

      We’d certainly be interested in a guest blog post from you. I have emailed your personal address with more details.



      • Steve Brumwell

        thanks for the response. The Clectaverse project is aiming to be the first global, mobile, social platform for “Geeks” to show off their memorabilia across films & TV, comics, books, autographs, video games and toys. It will be an eBay for Geeks but with the auction element as an aspect rather than the USP – mainly its a way to wrap up a community into one place and give them a sense of ownership of their “identity”.

        In terms of posts, either myself or Karl Roberts, CC’d here, would perhaps look to put up a couple of posts more about the emotional resonance of collecting memorabilia and the impact certain brands have over your life, rather than blogging about the transactions that are happening out there. I imagine the idiom would be geek speak heavy and with a more humour based tone (hopefully).

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