Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sally Mann

Sally Mann's new book, The Flesh and the Spirit, was reviewed yesterday in Fraction Magazine by Daniel W. Coburn. I have always been very drawn to her work. Coburn states, "Sally Mann grapples with the universal themes of love, loss and mortality that simultaneously enrich and plague the human condition. The beauty and power of Mann’s lifelong exploration of these topics lies in her ability to employ the art of photography as a psychological conduit. It is a channel through which she powerfully and effectively communicates her personal discoveries to the viewer. Her photographs celebrate a human existence that is both tragic and beautiful."

© Sally Mann from Immediate Family

Here are 2 of some of my favorite early photographs of members of my family (in need of a lot more darkroom work but for the sake of sharing, here they are)....

Mann's later work revolved on understanding death and dying. She released a book, What Remains, where she photographed the various states of decomposing bodies. In the following video Mann asks "what happens to a landscape when there are massive numbers on deaths on it" and then goes on to answer "The Earth doesn't care where a death occurs. Its job is to efface and renew itself. It is the artists who, by coming in and writing about it or painting it or photographing it, makes that earth powerful and creates deaths memory." She goes on to talk about the imperfections in art making as gifts...

Mann's work is endlessly fascinating, riveting and true. There are numerous resources online to explore her work further. Well worth the time.

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