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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for those who appreciate art photography
A very good book which deals intimately with family life. Sally Mann is clearly the loving mother of some very self-possessed and self-aware children. I was concerned before I saw the book about some of the tales that I had heard regarding the content. Frankly, anyone who finds this book prurient needs psychiatric help. Some of the pictures are shocking, it is true,...
Published on 5 Sep 2000

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29 of 75 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing
Mann's photographs in "Immediate Family" are certainly beautiful technically. I want to like this woman who also grew up in the '60s and speaks so tenderly in her preface about her children and her own childhood. Her photographs, shot in a hauntingly beautiful mountain setting offer us an interesting and often charming glimpse of "feral"...
Published on 25 April 1999


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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sally Mann has inspired me-a fantastic collection, 21 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This book was a joy to read and observe, it definitely deserves the full marks....a totally inspiring and astounding book- cover to cover.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One word: Brilliant, 6 Jan 2014
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Of all of my photo books this has to be the one than made most of an impact.
I love the juxtaposed feeling of family security and the vague anxiety that there most be something lurking in the woods.
I love the display of innocence whilst not leaving out the rough edges (cuts and bruises etc).
An absolute masterpiece.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 5 Jan 2014
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This work caused a stir when it was first published, but i am a huge fan of Mann's work and this series is my favourite. The book itself is very simple its paper back and a reasonable intro but the photographs do the talking. If you are not sure about this work or have not seen it its worth the buy weather you end up loving or hating it. It will will be very thought provoking.
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29 of 75 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, 25 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Sally Mann: Immediate Family (Paperback)
Mann's photographs in "Immediate Family" are certainly beautiful technically. I want to like this woman who also grew up in the '60s and speaks so tenderly in her preface about her children and her own childhood. Her photographs, shot in a hauntingly beautiful mountain setting offer us an interesting and often charming glimpse of "feral" childhood. After seeing the photos I later couldn't shake an uneasiness about them. In retrospect, sometimes the children seem to glare, possibly angry, affronted or looking violated as in the photo, "The Last Time Emmett Posed Nude". The photo "Dirty Jesse" seems a broken child discarded in a field. The photo of the little nude girl standing behind the strangely posed hands of a nude or bare legged adult has a decidedly frightening edge. And then there is "Wet Bed". (For some children bed wetting is a pathetic form of self defense.) After thinking on this for quite a while, I decided that this uneasy, queasy feeling, albeit subjective, was probably the key to the seemingly out of proportion public outrage in response to Mann's photographs. I believe the negative public response stems from the fact that in this sick society, many people have survived exploitation and abuse at the hands of parents or other trusted loved ones. Photos like Mann's, mild as they appear, could trigger memories provoking fear, pain, depression or rage in some survivors. I sincerely doubt that simple prudery or religious convictions were the catalyst for the death threats Mann has reportedly recieved. For example, in prison, pedophiles are most commonly brutalized by inmate survivors of sexual abuse and not religious zealots. I think children themselves are more valuable than whatever images we might project upon or desire to take of them. As all good advertising executives know, the image is an extremely powerful tool. Images are successfully used to educate, persuade, motivate and stimulate desire. In the end, the production of more and more nude images of children can only serve to commodify and marginalize them further in a society that already devours them daily. I recognize that Sally Mann is a gifted photographer but I also question her ethics. Her work ties into the current political/art phenomena surrounding children's issues. It seems wherever I go, the buzz words "NOTIONS of innocence and childhood" are on the lips of artists and educators. Films such as "Pretty Baby" and "Lolita" are becoming popular again with their self serving suggestion that adults are just helpless pawns in the hands of babes; many current art shows and performances cynically parody or denigrate childhood and innocence. ... As a mother and an artist, I find Mann's work disturbing.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent photos...However not worthy of reviews, 11 Oct 1997
By A Customer
Very diappointing. This book was advertised and reviewed giving one the impression of it as being a master piece of nude child photography as well as an excellent depiction of childhood. To me the word childhood brings forth connotations if innocence and joyous abandon. Only two photos in this book contain so much as a smile, those being " The Easter Dress" (cute) and the other being " Jessie and the deer" which depicts a very little girl standing next to a dead deer with it's throat cut in the back of a truck (not cute).
All of the rest of the photos contain blank facial expressions if not down right frowns. Sally Mann's "models" at times appear to be unwilling participants of her work. " The Last Time Emmett Modeled Nude,1987" is one such example, however, it does very well capture his little boy charm. He may have by the way been nude for the photographer, but not for the camera as he is submerged from the waist down in the river.
The facial expressions in many of these pictures remind me of those I have seen from the Great Depression Era or those from Third World Countries rather than life in everyday America. "Virginia at 3" and "The Wet Bed" do effectively visualize that innocence we look for in childhood pictures whether clothed or not.
There were by my count only 15 nudes out of 65 photos unless you count little girls of ages 3-9 with no shirts on as nudes. There was only one nude shot of Emmett, an intentional genital shot, with melted popsicle smeared over his lower abdomen and thighs. This shot doesn't even have a face. This was not a picture of her son who just happened to be nude, but a picture of his private parts with something smeared all over him. This is what she calls art???
All I can say is it's a good thing that there's not a satisfaction guarantee with this book.
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Sally Mann: Immediate Family
Sally Mann: Immediate Family by Reynolds Price (Paperback - 1 July 2004)
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