“Candy Cigarette” The 1989 Famous Photographs by Sally Mann

One of the most famous photographs in the 20th century is Candy Cigarette by Sally Mann. She featured a preteen young girl in the photographs holding a cigarette in her hand, the amazing image resonate with the drastic color contrasts. She however, used a perfect background image and an appropriate body language. The photograph is used to portray the story of a young woman who deviates from the right path.

Candy Cigarette which is one of her 1992 series is more or less her companion and can be considered as widely known work. However, many people see it as one of the most famous image in the 20th century. The photograph was taken in 1989 and feature Jessie (Mann’s daughter) holding a candy cigarette in between her small fingers. While her sibling was busy playing and concentrating on another direction, she stand firm holding the camera, with her ruffled cloth standing in the dark background. She also conveyed the carefreeness of youth with her smooth, unlined face and blond hair; also she portrayed the innocence of child with her winsome dress and gangly limbs

But to the audience, they don’t see her as a child rather a girl that is about to become a woman. Although it is crystal clear from the title that she is just imitating the adult by holding the cigarette, but it is however amazing she imitate the adult perfectly. Looking closely at her crossed arm and flat gaze, they clearly express deviance and the expression in her eyes is far beyond her age. As a child, she perfectly expresses the characteristics of a woman. However, at that moment she is imitating the behavior of an adult, indicating the challenges of adult life which she will still experience.

Or this acts as a symbol of deviance. During the time when her sibling is still contented with childhood life, being caught unaware of the outside world, Jessie has dived into the real world and meet the standard of an adult-just as if she is the one in charge. Mann was expressing the bittersweet tragedy of young children with early maturity in the real world. As a child, Jessie is irresistible and will soon grow to become a young woman, but it seems like she is gradually losing the innocence of her childhood. Candy Cigarette is definitely beautiful and unsettling by representing a whole generation that aims to grow up at a very fast pace.

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