Diane Arbus

Arbus's Twins, Kubrick's Twins, and John Malkovich.

SFMOMA TRIP. AUG. 21, 2018. 

The SFMOMA usually does me pretty dirty. It's not that its exhibitions are bad, it's just that after the OG MOMA and the Tretyakov Gallery, my expectations for museum visits are pretty high. Especially if I'm paying $19 for it.

But, lower your expectations they say.

Today, my favorite was the second floor, which traditionally holds the photography section. There was a lot of good stuff but for some reason, what jumped out at me the most, was a photo of identical twins made in Roselle, N.J, in 1966. The author of this photo was Diane Arbus and she walked this Earth from 1923-1971. The poor gal lived through the after-math of WWI and through WWII. Much respect.

The image reminded me of the well-famed scene in "The Shining" by Stanley Kubrick, where the two twins eerily stand in the hallway of the hotel, while quickly advancing closer to the viewer. Funny enough, after googling it later, I found that others also speculate that Kubrick allusioned to Arbus's twins in his film as well.

But Arbus's twins left me more mesmerized than frightened. I left the room wondering what they turned out to be like as they grew older, if their faces stayed as pretty, and if their lives proved to be full-filling and long. 

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I like this image because it is balanced and because the girls' faces exude genuineness. But, I also would like to say, that this is not Diane's best work. By far.

If you like when artists explore unconventional beauty, definitely explore her work. But for now, I hope you like this portrait of the girls, Kubrick's girls, and (I can't believe I'm saying this), John Malkovich as the girls as well.


                             Diane Arbus,  Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J, 1966

                             Diane Arbus, Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J, 1966


                                          Stanley Kubrick,  The Shining,  "Come Play with Us", 1980

                                          Stanley Kubrick, The Shining, "Come Play with Us", 1980


                                      Sandro Miller, John Malkovich as Diane Arbus's  Identical Twins

                                      Sandro Miller, John Malkovich as Diane Arbus's  Identical Twins