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Picks and Pans Review: In/sights

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Self-Portraits by Women

compiled by Joyce Tenneson Cohen

Here, from a society turned inward, is another Me book. This anthology of 125 black-and-white photographic self-portraits (including six portfolios) is meant to reveal, according to Cohen, the “universal human condition.” Some are funny (a pregnant woman beside a mountain of watermelons), others sublimely simple (a mother embracing her son), but most are self-consciously arty, imitative and pretentious. More revealing than the images are the comments from the artists. Most fitting is a remark from a woman who submitted a picture of herself blowing a bubble. She quotes Gertrude Stein: “There ain’t any answer…That’s the answer.” (Godine, $7.95)