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Immediate Family Paperback – June 15, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture; Reprint edition (June 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0893815233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0893815233
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #419,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[Mann's photographs] suggest that the camera is as adept at depicting the desires of the subconscious as it is in rendering the shapes of everyday life."--Andy Grundberg, The New York Times

"[Sally Mann] makes pictures of children-- luminously beautiful black-and-white images of mysteriously elfin children around [her] rural home in Lexington, Virginia. These are riveting, enigmatic narrative images...."--Ken Johnson, Art in America

"Sally Mann continues to probe the intimate life of her family and come up with startling, disquieting revelations. Mann's extraordinary picture of her nude daughter suspended like a shimmering white fish on a porch with unconcerned adults resonates in your mind like a dream."--Vince Aletti, The Village Voice

"The photographs are beautiful and strange, like a dream of childhood in the summer. They are not your usual pictures of the children to send to the grandparents; they are pictures to send to the Museum of Modern Art."--Janet Malcolm, The New York Review of Books

"Immediate Family, which was published in 1990, must be counted as one of the great photograph books of our time. It is a singularly powerful evocation of childhood from within and without, tender and vertiginous and scary, employing a large photographic vocabulary to render precise ambiguities. Mann [constructs] a style that is much more far-ranging than the average contemporary photographer would permit him or herself, and yet identifiable and cohesive."--Luc Sante, The New Republic

About the Author

Sally Mann has exhibited and taught nationally. Her work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Chrysler Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and other major collections around the country. She has received grants from the NEA, the NEH, the Friends of Photography, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She lives in Lexington, Virginia, with her husband and three children, whom she continues to photograph as part of an ongoing project. All of the photographs in Immediate Family were taken with an 8-by-10-inch view camera.

Reynolds Price was born in Macon, North Carolina, in 1933. His 1962 novel A Long and Happy Life received the William Faulkner Award for a notable first novel, and has never been out of print. He has published numerous other books, including Kate Vaiden, for which he received the National Books Critics Circle Award. He has also published volumes of short stories, poems, plays, essays, a memoir, and he has written for the screen and for television. He is a member of the National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and is James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University.

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Customer Reviews

They have amazing soul and power inside them.
Wquilliam
She would never have malicious intent and if you can see it as something more than "naked kids" than you might really enjoy this book.
Serge Neri
I recommend this book to photography buffs, nature lovers, stressed-out insomniacs and mothers everwhere.
Lynn M. Bliss

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By J. Klukas on May 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This collection of works is undoubtedly a seminal work for contemporary fine art photography. Sally Mann's print work is without a doubt some of the most competant and breathtaking I have ever seen. Her scenes are rich with subtle tones and almost ethereal luminance that captivates the viewer. I would not be surprised if she is remembered as much for her printing as she is for the controversial subject matter.

The book deals with childhood in a very honest unashamed way. This is problematic for some viewers who think that pictures with children should only portray their happiest moments. This subject matter may not be suitable for the rigid-minded and certainly will be unpleasant for those who believe children, unlike the rest of humanity, can only be presented as cheerful little sprites. The book challanges the viewer and brings up issues of how our cultures representations of female sexuality are interpreted and acted out by young girls. Beyond that it refuses to entertain the idea that nudity in children is necesarily harmful and exploitative. These issues are broached in a beautiful, delicate way. The lives of her children are portrayed honestly and respectfully as she sees them through her lens.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Sally Mann's "Immediate Family" is startling when you first open it. Not because the children who are so often her subjects are nude much of the time, but because the scenes immediately draw you in and hold you like a feather gripped by a dirty-faced wild child. I grew up in rural Tennessee, and though I didn't have the freedom of the Mann children in some ways,I feel an affinity with them unlike any other children I've seen in these kinds of collections and was instantly transported back to my early years. My favorite pictures are "Crossed Sticks", which perfectly depicts the energy and vitality of childhood, and "Virginia at 3", which inspires both curiosity and empathy in me whenever I see it. I'm glad someone like Sally Mann is out there to portray childhood honestly and fearlessly, and I will treasure this book.
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55 of 67 people found the following review helpful By photography student on September 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
i need to reiterate the point made in a previous review: this is not the place for opinions, personal values, or an ethics discussion. people who read these reviews for the purpose of trying to understand the contents of the book are not interested in these things. this book contains some very well-renowned photographs, an essential for those who already appreciate sally mann's work or are interested in learning about it for the first time. i highly reccommend this along with "At Twelve" for some extremely compelling and powerful documents of photography. Also, whoever thinks these photographs could be taken with a $200 camera has clearly never used one before. These were taken with an 8x10 view camera, which is incredibly difficult to master, as Sally Mann has done, largely without any professional instruction. That comment just demonstrates the reviewer's ignorance about photography in general and does a disservice to anyone reading these reviews seriously. This book is a fine addition to a serious photography collection.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By kwhitcomb@waccamaw.com on January 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I was unaware of the controversy regarding Mrs. Mann's work until recently and find the harsh words totally unwarranted and the attitudes unbelievable. This book reflects her understanding of what it's like to be a child in a rural environment and has NOTHING to do with pornography.
The nudity which some find so shocking is natural for kids. It's not until later when we learn our bodies are "bad" that we stop displaying them. That some attach the nudity in the shots of her children with sex speaks poorly of them and those who perpetuate this attitude.
This is a wonderful book that most of you will appreciate and identify with, making you recall memories of your own youth. And, if you were brought up in a suburban area you'll even learn some of what it's like being a kid in the country. However, if your looking for a book with snapshots of smiling kids, you'll be disappointed. This is a photo essay on an all too brief time of our lives, with the pictures being neither cute nor pretty, the photographer having chosen instead to show emotion and reality, and has done so beautifully.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth DeLuca on August 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sally Mann was introduced to me in my college photography class through a video and I was facinated from the start. She is incredibly creative and her ideas were shot down by many because of nudity. It is not nudity, it is a beautiful art that she has been able to transform to film. She is wonderous and very talented. The book helps to show the childrens lives. How they lived within themselves and Sally was simply there constantly repeating, hold that pose. A lot of heart was put into this, creating amazing work.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By courtney on September 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Sally Mann is so talented! I love these photographs. She has captured the reality of life with creativity and love. Love for art,love for her children, and love for life.
After looking through the book, I found that I felt that I KNEW the three children pictured. I wondered where they are now, 10+ years later.
An Amazing piece of Art and American Culture
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By ontheEspie on January 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It's perplexing to me that this book should garner any controversy. I am not a proponent of "naturism" nor is anyone in my family. I grew up with what I consider to be among the best, most loving, protective and capable parents ever. But if Sally Mann's work constitutes something immoral or illegal, then my parents and those of most of my friends should be arrested for the content of our family photo albums. The photos in this book are nothing more or less than extraordinarily beautiful captures an ordinary childhood. Any one of the photos could have been taken at my house growing up (with, of course, a gifted photographer) under normal circumstances. My sister basically refused to wear clothes until she was 5. We actually lived in an apartment building then and she was known to run naked in the hallways if my parents opened the door a crack. As a result, there are a hell of a lot of photos of my sister naked as a child. There's nothing exploitative or innapropriate about any of them, nor do I get any sense of impropriety whatsoever with Mann's photos. I suspect that any impropriety perceived has to do with the person looking at the photo - and by extension that individual's cultural sensibilities and personal experience - rather than the photos themselves, and likewise, unfortunately I think I can safely presume that they didn't cause a ripple of controversy anywhere outside of the US. They are simply stunning works of photography. The one of her daughter wearing the rollerskates on the porch is one of my favorites, perhaps because it reminds me most of my own childhood. The rural Virginian setting is remarkable in its own right and as a backdrop no doubt makes the photos even more evocative for those who, unlike myself, grew up in similar environs.
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