IN REAL LIFE by Leslie Sills

IN REAL LIFE

Six Women Photographers
Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author of Inspirations (1989) and Visions (1993) perceptively profiles six more female artists, focusing here on photographers—selected less for their fame, than to contrast distinctive styles and sensibilities. Represented are Imogen Cunningham’s lush aesthetic; Dorothea Lange’s eye for telling documentary; Lola Alvarez Bravo’s atmospheric Mexican scenes; Carrie Mae Weems’s verbal and visual celebrations of African-American families; Elsa Dorfman’s joie de vivre; and the dark, disturbing self-portraits of Cindy Sherman. Sills provides glimpses of her subjects’ private lives, professional careers, and working methods, but is at her best when commenting on their art. “In the face of one person, [Lange] was able to show the troubles of a nation,” and of Sherman’s Untitled #143, “His wounds, blackened complexion, and glazed eyes make one wonder if he has fallen in a battle. Is his head attached to his body? Even without knowing what has happened, the viewer gets a creepy feeling.” Her insights make it impossible to remain indifferent to these stirring, joyful, haunting images. The pictures are less crisply reproduced than those in previous volumes, but still convey their intended effects, and correctly assuming that viewers will be eager to see more, the author supplies a healthy bibliography, along with a list of Web sites. Once again, she not only is going to draw strong immediate reactions from young readers, but provides food for longer thought, and deeper responses, to modern art. (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2000
ISBN: 0-8234-1498-1
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000




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