Lot 17
  • 17

MARIANA COOK | Barack and Michelle ObamaChicago Illinois 26 May 1996

7,000 - 9,000 USD
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  • Mariana Cook
  • Barack and Michelle ObamaChicago Illinois 26 May 1996
  • signed, titled, dated 1996 and numbered 4/18 on the reverse
  • gelatin silver print 
  • 36 by 33 1/8 in. 91.4 by 84.1 cm.
  • Executed in 1996, this work is number 4 from an edition of 18, plus 2 artist's proofs.


Courtesy of the artist

Catalogue Note

Born in 1955, Mariana Cook is an American photographer celebrated for her black and white portraits of today’s most well-known and admired artists, writers and public figures. Through her work she captures the “essence” of an individual, while exploring the core relationships that comprise all forms of human connection. Cook spent her early career documenting the intimate bonds of family through a series of projects: Fathers and Daughters; Mothers and Sons; Couples, featuring a portrait of Barack and Michelle Obama in 1996; and Generations of Women. Cook photographed American politician and civil rights leader, John Lewis, for her Justice series and biologist Edward O. Wilson for her Scientists series, along with other prominent leaders and thinkers. In the early 2000s, Cook diverged from her portrait work with a new project, Stone Walls, during which she examined the crucial interactions between humans and the land they inhabit. For this project, Cook embarked on an eight year journey around the world, documenting stone walls and landscapes found in the United States, England, Ireland, Peru, Malta, and more. Cook’s work is in public and private collections around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Bibliothèque nationale de France; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. Eleven critically-acclaimed books of her work have been published, including best-selling Fathers and Daughters, Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries, and most recent, Lifeline. Through a single image, Cook successfully conveys the vast yet universal aspects of the human condition. She reminds us of not only the emotional vulnerability involved in relationships, but, more importantly, the power of unity that makes life alongside others worth experiencing.