Although Mann is composing the images, she lets her children have their own voice, and it is easy to see each of their personalities through the images. It is easy to forget what is going on elsewhere in the photograph, because the nude and highlighted figure of Jessie demands so much attention. She is all alone in the image, yet is surrounded by adults. It's also important to recognize that the three individuals in this image are Sally Mann herself left and her daughters Jessie center and Virginia right. She wears no smile in the image, and she looks sad and helpless. Rather than just saying it, she Sally Mann was able to capture it with photographs. It shows a much more mature Virginia sitting in the bushes, her long curly hair entangled in the branches.
The Most Intimate Photograph | Art | Pinterest | Sally mann, Sally mann photos and Nan goldin
Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family’ – The Unflinching and Unafraid Childhood (2006)
Jessie obviously is, but she has made herself up to look much older, and she flaunts for the camera with a centerfold gaze. She is all alone in the picture, and is behind a fence between her and the house. When reading the title, it makes a bit more sense, but one has to wonder, how did the popsicle drips get down there? Mann also tends to lean towards the fantastical image; the fiction based in reality. To depict what childhood truly is, Mann utilizes reality in a select few of her images.
Mann brings to the forefront what other mothers wish to hide, and this deeply concerns some critics. Since Victorian times, our moral majority has felt duty-bound to shield young children from most intimations of sex, death, or doom. The images, taken from to detailed the complex childhoods of her three children; Emmet, Jessie and the youngest, Virginia. To her, they were little more than tender, maternal photographs of her children. You make no mention of the inspiration of this piece:
The toy horse is lying down in the dirt, its paint chipping. Many mothers would like to view their children through themselves, denying them their own voice and stealing from them their sexuality and emotions. It is easy to forget what is going on elsewhere in the photograph, because the nude and highlighted figure of Jessie demands so much attention. The light playing off of the figures produces a glowing quality, and makes the image seem more dream-like. Beautiful nude Virginia is seen sleeping, sprawled out on the mattress without a care, her quilt kicked off of her. She transports us into an imaginative world that often disappears after childhood has.