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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Parent Trap

Tattooed Madonnas and feral children: Photographers frame the family

Sally Mann, Jessie Bites, 1985

by Leslie Camhi, The Village Voice

Photography is in a family way again. Recent gallery shows include Gail Albert Halaban's pseudo-photojournalistic stagings of alienated, über-chic moms at Robert Mann and Tierney Gearon's bowel-churning portraits of her schizophrenic mother, at Yossi Milo. Justine Kurland recently traveled cross-country in a van with her infant son, photographing other mothers and their children, naked amid seemingly virginal landscapes; the pictures go on view at Mitchell-Innes Nash this week. And the money shot in Global Feminisms, the hotly anticipated survey opening at the Brooklyn Museum next month, promises to be an up-to-date Madonna—Catherine Opie's Self Portrait/Nursing (2004). It shows the hefty, tattooed photographer (faintly scarred with the word "pervert" carved in cursive script across her chest) cradling a blond baby boy who feeds at her breast, each gazing upon the other with rapt attention....




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