Tina Barney: Photographs : Theater of Manners
New York photographer Tina Barney was born to an upper-class East Coast family. Ever since she started to take photographs in 1974 she has documented and examined her family's life. As an intimate observer, the viewer witnesses the intricacies of social rituals-weddings, Christmas dinners, and cocktail parties. Barney captures the tension between the polished surfaces and the intensity of the feelings underneath. Barney's photographs are brilliantly composed, densely layered tableaux signaling her familiarity with classic painting. The viewer can never be quite sure whether the images are carefully posed arrangements or perfectly captured moments of 'real life'. Barney's astute play with artifice mirrors social life itself-part artifice, part spontaneity. In this comprehensive monograph Tina Barney is revealed as a rare combination of artist and visual anthropologist.
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