Sally Mann


I love Sally Mann as much as I love Mary Ellen Mark. They are different in their own ways. Mann tends to experiment more with the camera, while Mark experimented more with subject IMO.

These are from Mann's "Twelve" series. This first is my favorite. These images really resonate with me for my own personal reasons.




Sally Mann is great. I love the role that depth of field and motion blurs play in those last 3 compositions. They draw attention to the subjects while also giving the photos a dreamy feel. Just jogged my memory on her more recent work, and she seems to have extended that to working w/antique cameras and processes.

She's unfortunately one of those artists that's known almost more for the controversy surrounding a particular body of work (the family portraits) than the work itself.
Yes, that's unfortunate because I don't think she ever intended any controversy for those images at all. I have that book of her here. They were her own children and I feel they were extremely innocent. It's other people that make them titillating. I like her antique images too, but I admit her more documentary pictures are the ones I love most. I'm about to watch a documentary about her. I forgot what it's called, but I think we're watching it tonight.
I feel they were extremely innocent. It's other people that make them titillating.
Absolutely. As often is the case with this subject.
I too have the "Immediate Family" book and it not only is purely innocent but also shows a world of naturalness and intimate comfort that we all would love to live in.
I watched the doc last night. It's from 2005 and it's called What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann and it was great!
I like Sally Mann, too and I watched that doc last week while I was painting! It’s hard to watch art things while your eyeballs are otherwise engaged, but that was the 2nd time seeing it so I just more or less…listened.

It was kind of sad that it took her such a long time to get over the controversy of that first show. And sort of unfortunate that when she finally got all her work completed for the “death” show, all those years later, it was derailed by the events of 9/11. I was also impressed of the work she did of her husband’s physical deterioration from MS. She has such a direct and honest approach toward nudity, death and illness which is really just…NOT a fear of the human body, right?

She also reminds me of Tierney Gearon, who had her own controversy with HER children and nudity. I think it’s hard for a mother to look at her “own naked kids” as something other than perfectly natural and normal since you birthed ‘em! But then, along comes religious morality and male “squeamishness” (to put it politely) that puts it into a whole other category.

Wow! Olive, thank you so much for giving out that link to Tierney's site. I did not know of her. I'm going to share this with mjp and see what he thinks too. I don't usually like color photography, but I love her stuff.

By the way, Larry Mann has a rare form of MD (muscular dystrophy), not MS. Either way, it sucks.

I thought a lot of things she said about them as a couple, her family, death, and everything else was extremely profound.
A quick note re: color photography. I’d recommend googling Saul Leiter and William Eggleston if you don’t already know of their work. Two old-school, MASTERS of color...