"Candy Cigarette" by Sally Mann

Pages: 2 (524 words) Published: March 12, 2014

12 August 2013
Memory of a Modern Idea
In the well-known picture “Candy Cigarette” by Sally Mann, the cloudy gaze of a girl is captured in a moment of time. The black and white photo gives off an eerie familiarity that reminds the viewer of a distant memory. The picture offers a clear vision of a girl but also an abstract idea of children in general. This is an interesting piece of art mainly because its purpose was to convey a message, it was not just art for the sake of art, it was meant to invoke profound insight through imagery. Through the camera of Sally Mann, she provides a “lens” of an issue that resonates all across the nation even today.

The girl in the photo is obviously a child but her body language suggests that she is older. It is as if she is positioned that way. That is how the photographer wants us to see her. Her stare shows defiance of the expectations society has put forth of being a “kid”. There are also other children in the photo that offer an interpretation. The body located higher in the photograph and the one to the side of the girl are symbols of an idea. The position of the children is a “lens” that the author uses as a representational space to show how: 1) Children grow up too soon and 2) That now a day’s children are exposed to the same things as adults.

In addition to the idea of pre-maturity, the title “Candy Cigarette” makes the vision of the author clearer. It was the photographer who titled the photo and it is a part of her message. She sets the scene and narrates it with the title. The phrase “candy” expresses the artificiality of it all but it is the subcategory of the bigger picture. The picture is what jumps out at you, focus is centered on the capture of significance. Media and social change have made an impact on the status quo of our society. What was considered taboo years ago, has become exceptional in the eyes of the public. Children seem to be in the middle of it all. Violent material is shown through media...
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