Sally Mann

Sally
Mann
1951

American Photographer

Author Quotes

But like a high-strung racehorse who needs extra weight in her saddle pad, I like a handicap and relish the aesthetic challenge posed by the limitations of the ordinary.

I don't like memoirs. I think they're self-serving, and people use them to settle scores, and I really tried not to do that. You have to have a really interesting life to justify memoir, and my life has been pretty ho-hum.

I tend to agree with the theory that if you want to keep a memory pristine, you must not call upon it too often, for each time it is revisited, you alter it irrevocably, remembering not the original impression left by experience but the last time you recalled it. With tiny differences creeping in at each cycle, the exercise of our memory does not bring us closer to the past but draws us further away.

I'm the weird person who completely loved and devoured 'Middlemarch' but who has not finished far shorter and more readable books due to distraction or the fact that by some miracle I am sleeping through the night.

One of the things my career as an artist might say to young artists is: The things that are close to you are the things you can photograph the best. And unless you photograph what you love, you are not going to make good art.

The thing that makes writing so difficult is you don't have the element of serendipity. At least with a photograph, you can set up the camera, and something might happen. You might be a lousy photographer, but you can get a good picture if you just take enough of them.

Very few males have the confidence to appear vulnerable.

Contemporary Welsh-speakers have continued that expression, linking memory and landscape most vividly in R. W. Parry?s sonnet in which the longed-for landscape communicates to the human heart, ?the echo of an echo? the memory of a memory past.?

I don't see many artists who are not trying to bring their work to the public - -to the contrary I see artists nearly desperate to get attention for their art and, failing that, often for themselves.

I think I'm not a good photographer, not a good writer. I'm a pretty regular person whose insecurity is so pervasive that it makes me always feel vulnerable.

In an immigrant society like this one, we are often divided from our forebears less by distance than by language, generations before us having thought, sung, made love, and argued in dialects unknown to us now. In Wales, for example, Welsh is spoken by barely 20 percent of the population, so we can only hope that the evocative Welsh word hiraethwill somehow be preserved. It means ?distance pain,? and I know all about it: a yearning for the lost places of our past, accompanied in extreme cases by tuneful lamentation (mine never got quite that bad). But, and this is important, it always refers to a near-umbilical attachment to a place, not just free-floating nostalgia or a droopy hound-like wistfulness or the longing we associate with romantic love. No, this is a word about the pain of loving a place.

Photographs economize the truth; they are always moments more or less illusorily abducted from time?s continuum.

The things that are close to you are the things you can photograph the best,

What is truth in photography? It can be told in a hundred different ways. Every thirtieth of a second when the shutter snaps, its capturing a different piece of information.

Death makes us sad, but it can also make us feel more alive.

I feel I'm a strange mixture of insecurity and strength. Most of us, probably most people. I'm transferring that same concept to the people I photograph.

I think my father came to believe long ago what Rhett Butler told Scarlett: reputation is something people with character can do without. Character and character.

Increasingly, the work I'm doing is in service to an idea rather than just to see what something looks like photographed. I'm trying to explore how I feel about something through photography.

Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.

The two sensibilities, the visual and the verbal, have always been linked for me - in fact, while reading a particularly evocative passage, I will imagine what the photograph I'd take of that scene would look like, even with burning and dodging notes. Maybe everyone does this.

Whatever of my memories hadn?t crumbled into dust must surely by now have been altered by the passage of time. I tend to agree with the theory that if you want to keep a memory pristine, you must not call upon it too often, for each time it is revisited, you alter it irrevocably, remembering not the original impression left by experience but the last time you recalled it. With tiny differences creeping in at each cycle, the exercise of our memory does not bring us closer to the past but draws us farther away.

Don't get between me and a really good picture in the darkroom, because then I want to go straight to the darkroom and develop it. But once that's done, I'm fine.

I had learned over time to meekly accept whatever betrayals memory pulled over on me, allowing my mind to polish its own beautiful lie. In distorting the information it?s supposed to be keeping safe, the brain, to its credit, will often bow to some instinctive aesthetic wisdom, imparting to our life?s events a coherence, logic, and symbolic elegance that?s not present or not so obvious in the improbable, disheveled sloppiness of what we?ve actually been through.

I think the media is a fear-mongering operation. They love to rile their viewership up or to scare them.

It didn't help my career to be living in Appalachia.

First Name
Sally
Last Name
Mann
Birth Date
1951
Bio

American Photographer