How are couples different from other relationships?
"In the first place," says Cook, "they choose each other. It's not a given. And I also think they have a harder time expressing their feelings for each other in public."
To get at the essence of a couple's relationship, Cook strips everything away. There is no special makeup, no assistant, no lights.
She explains, "When two people are each very much themselves and at ease in their own skin and somehow connected to each other, that's the moment I choose."
Among the moments she has captured are special ones between Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and his wife, newswoman Andrea Mitchell; George Plimpton and his wife; and newsman Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes with his wife, Mary.
She also says that the best word to describe what holds a couple together is family, whether old or young, with children or not. It is a family bond that couples choose to create.
"That's what couples are, in the end. They're a family," Cook concludes. "What gets them together may be erotic and exciting. But, in the end, if they stick it out, they're a family."
Mariana Cook's exhibit may be viewed through Feb. 17 at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, 1018 Madison Avenue (between 78th and 79th Streets), New York, N.Y. 10021. Phone number: (212) 744-7400
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