Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, NYC, 1962.
The boy in this photograph, Colin Wood, claims that Arbus caught him at a moment of exasperation in this iconic shot. At the time that this photograph was taken, the subject’s famous tennis playing father, Sidney Wood, and his mother were going through a divorce – so their son felt lonely and was experiencing “a sense of being abandoned”. The scrawny child holds himself in a tense manner; his right hand clutching a toy hand grenade and his left clenched into a claw like position. This, combined with the disheveled clothes and manic expression on his young face communicates the frustration the boy held and, in his own words, the “want to connect” without knowing how.