Posted on October 11, 2012 by Emilia Garcia Romeu

I first heard of Sally Mann ( by the mid-1990s, when I was at school in the U.S. At that time, she was famous for having outraged the general public with photographs of her own children. It was no small thing: Mann was accused of abusing her kids and even Artforum refused to publish her photographs. That’s why her name popped up in class every time we dealt with art, sexuality, and censorship.  In this controversy, I was ready to side with Mann: Both series, Immediate family (1984-1991) and Family color (1990-1991), portray her kids at absolute ease, wild in action and indolent when not, as lazy and comfortable in their own skins as cats in the sun. For me, there is such a distinctive atmosphere of intimacy and candor that obscenity (overexposure, exhibitionism, abuse) is simply out of the question. It is true that these children are depicted in extreme situations (i.e. injured and bleeding) and mostly naked, like savages in nature and culture, but that’s probably the beauty of it. Continue Reading →