Tina Barney (1945) was born to a wealthy American upper-class family. Her personal family relations are recorded in large images. Thus we become spectators to the lives of Barney's family and friends. However, colourful images transcend social issues as they contain a more psychological depth, an implicit story. "The insignificance of humanity and of life frightens me. And the sense of doubt, the question of the purpose of our existence, compels me to continuously seek the essence; the depth and value of life. I wish to know what other people feel, else life is too lonely."

Initially, the photgraphs seem to be snapshots, but in fact the situations are staged. Barney attaches great importance to time, consequently figure and place are remeniscent of nineteenth- century painting. However, some credit can be granted to coincidence in the images; at one point in time the action arose spontaneously. Furthermore, it seems as if some of the persons portrayed suddenly turn round or get up from their chair unexpectedly. Due to this coinciden-ce the images look more real, even as if they were moments in real life. The images portray relationships within a family, nevertheless, at the same time the theatrical roleplay causes them to have a tense aspect.

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