Sally Mann is among the top most well-known fine art photographers of the present time. Her works are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and other notable museums in North America. In 2001 she was awarded the title of “America’s Best Photographer” by Time magazine.
“Candy Cigarette” is part of a book titled “Immediate Family” published in 1992. The book includes 65 Mann’s duo-tones prints featuring predominantly Mann’s three children.
Since its original publication in 1992 the book has been celebrated by art critics as one of the greatest photography books of our time, and among the most influential, however as the book features Mann’s children either nude, injured, in vulnerable positions, or in controversial attitudes — like in this photograph — there was also a lot of discomfort, mainly among American religious rights organizations.
This particular piece was taken in 1989, the photograph features one of Mann’s daughters elegantly holding a candy cigarette between her fingers and her sister — facing back to the camera — who seems absorbed perhaps looking to something that looks like a person in stilts in the background.
For me the greatness of this image resides in the context and content of the photograph. The image is impacting, people immediately love it or hate it — as most of Mann’s imagery, so from that perspective composition — which by the way is good, but not the greatest aspect of the image — passes to a second term.
Over the time this image has become one of the most iconic photographs of all times.
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