SALLY MANN | Candy Cigarette, 1989 | Gelatin silver print
Sold for $266,500 at the Photographs sale, 4 April 2012, New York, achieving an auction record for the artist.
Sally Mann’s famed body of work Immediate Family, documents her three children, Emmett, Jessie and Virginia in an array of scenes at their home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Capturing themas they sleep, interact, dress up and role play, Mann’s photographs highlight a heightened maturity that defies their age, creating a tension between the push of childhood and the pull of adulthood. Even when the scenes themselves are innocent, there is a knowing gaze from the subject that charges the image. In Candy Cigarette, 1989, Mann’s eldest daughter Jessie stares defiantly at the camera, at her mother, with tousled hair and a cigarette made of bubblegum. She poses almost identically alongside her sister in The New Mothers, 1989. In both photographs, Jessie is exhibiting a self-awareness as both a female and subject of her mother’s lens. While Mann’s work has consistently come under public scrutiny for its intimate subject matter, at the root of the work is a family album filled with the stories, memories and moments that define Mann as a mother and photographer.