In 1971 Norman Mailer said that “giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.” Lo and behold: . Even before her suicide that year, Arbus’ magnificent body of work evoked criticism and suspicion of exploitation. She was drawn to the so-called deviants, outsiders, marginalized people, glamorous transvestites, graceful giants, disturbed-looking children, circus performers and of course, and subjects with other birth eccentricities. Had she lived, Arbus would have been 89 years old today. In tribute, we’d like to present you with this brief survey of some of the most controversial photographers, contemporary and of recent yesteryear.
Two UC student groups posted controversial photos of vaginas on the college campus. Students and bystanders observed the demonstration on March 7, 2013.
Joey Meeks and Jerod Weber helped organize a demonstration on UC's campus that featured controversial photos of vaginas on March 7, 2013.
R. Umar Abbasi’s shot of New Yorker Ki Suk Han as he was about to be struck and killed by an oncoming train is arguably one of the most controversial photographs in recent memory. The subsequent “DOOMED” news rag cover was shocking, even for the New York Post. Was the photographer really trying to warn the train conductor with the flash of his camera? What of the others who swarmed around the body for their own cellphone pic? Is there a clear ethical line when it comes to photojournalism and what is the responsibility of a publisher? Let’s look back and briefly survey some of the biggest media photo controversies of 2012 — some serious, some frivolous — and continue the discussion. Warning: Many of these images are rather disturbing.
|Most controversial photos in history|