A Young Negro Boy, Washington Square Park, N.Y.C.

Executed in 1965, Printed later
Silver Gelatin Photograph

Stamped ‘A Diane Arbus photograph’, signed, titled, dated and numbered from edition of 75 by Doon Arbus, Administrator, in ink, stamped Estate copyright credit and annotated in pencil (verso).

Diane Arbus’s “A Young Negro Boy, Washington Square Park, N.Y.C.” is a striking testament to her ability to capture the raw humanity and complexity of urban life. In this photograph, Arbus presents a poignant portrait of a young boy, his gaze meeting the viewer’s with a mixture of curiosity and vulnerability. Set against the backdrop of Washington Square Park, a nexus of activity and diversity in New York City, the boy stands as a solitary figure, yet his presence resonates with a profound sense of connection to his surroundings.

Arbus’s composition invites contemplation of the boy’s identity and experiences, prompting viewers to consider the social and cultural context in which he exists. Through her lens, Arbus reveals the power of photography to illuminate the individual stories and struggles that shape our collective humanity. With empathy and insight, she invites us to confront our preconceptions and biases, challenging us to see beyond surface appearances to the rich inner lives of those who inhabit the margins of society.

“A Young Negro Boy, Washington Square Park, N.Y.C.” stands as a testament to Arbus’s enduring legacy as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. With its stark honesty and unflinching gaze, the photograph reminds us of the importance of empathy and understanding in our interactions with others, urging us to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, regardless of race, class, or background.