Arbus’ Child with Toy Hand Grenade to make $600,000?

A print of Diane Arbus’ Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, NYC (1962) is due to sell at Christie’s.

The photograph is among Arbus’ most iconic.

Arbus child grenade

Examples of this image printed by Arbus herself very rarely come to auction

Like most of her work it was taken on the streets of New York.

We can see from the contact sheet that she took 12 shots of the boy.

The toy grenade appears in the sixth exposure, probably handed to him by a friend out of shot.

In the 8th exposure he makes this exasperated face, clearly bored of this impromptu photoshoot.

As Christie’s comments: “This is the moment when the boy slips from posing ‘as he should’ and what he reveals is both unexpected and menacing.

“Arbus releases the shutter and in that fraction of a second produces an image that has transfixed the world for over 50 years.”

This print is particularly special as it was printed by Arbus herself. Christie’s notes that to date only three “lifetime” prints have ever been offered at auction.

One of those others set a record for Arbus’ work at auction, achieving $785,000 at Christie’s.

This example is expected to make $400,000-600,000, although demand in the saleroom could push that higher.

Edward Weston’s Nude (1925) is also valued at $400,000-600,000.

The work features model Miriam Lerner, with whom Weston was briefly in a relationship from 1924-1925.

Weston was developing his pioneering style around this time. This print, produced by the artist, will have extraordinary appeal for collectors.

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