Sally Mann

Sally
Mann
1951

American Photographer

Author Quotes

All the good pictures that came so easily now make the next set of pictures virtually impossible in your mind.

How can a sentient person of the modern age mistake photography for reality? All perception is selection, and all photographs--no matter how objectively journalistic the photographer's intent--exclude aspects of the moment's complexity. Photographs economize the truth; they are always moments more or less illusorily abducted from time's continuum.

I have nothing but respect for people who travel the world to make art and put exotic Indians in front of linen backdrops, but it's always been my philosophy to try to make art out of the everyday and ordinary.

I wish I could be a better writer, but writing is so difficult. I get seduced by visual aesthetics. Because I just like making beautiful pictures, sometimes I wander away from making a clear statement.

It's usually so fraught when you're taking a picture. I work with an 8-by-10 view camera and there's a, you know, hood that I put over my head, and it's tricky and complicated.

Sometimes, when I get a good picture, it feels like I have taken another nervous step into increasingly rarified air. Each good-news picture, no matter how hard-earned, allows me only a crumbling foothold on this steepening climb?an ascent whose milestones are fear and doubt.

There's always a time in any series of work where you get to a certain point and your work is going steadily and each picture is better than the next, and then you sort of level off and that's when you realize that it's not that each picture is better than the next, it's that each picture up's the ante. And that every time you take one good picture, the next one has got to be better.

When you look at your life as an artist, you do see that when you get to be 60, you're coming - this is the last chapter.

Art is seldom the result of true genius; rather, it is the product of hard work and skills learned and tenaciously practiced by regular people.

I baked bread, hand-ground peanuts into butter, grew and froze vegetables, and, every morning, packed lunches so healthful that they had no takers in the grand swap-fest of the lunchroom.

I have three libraries. As a gift, a friend alphabetized and organized my main library of novels, history books, and nonfiction. Then I have a photo-book collection. Then there's this nearly whole room of my childhood books. I've also got cookbooks and a big collection of horse-related books.

I work all the time. I never leave home. I mean, I just stay honed in on what's ahead. Sally Mann Work, Time, Home I'm just the opposite of a lot of photographers who want everything to be really, really sharp. And they're always, you know, stopping it down to F64.

Like all photographers, I depend on serendipity I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance.

The earth doesn?t care where death occurs. ...It?s the artist, by coming in and writing about it or painting it or taking a photograph of it, that makes the earth powerful and creates death?s memory. Because the land will not remember by itself, but the artist will.

These dog bones are just making art the way art should be made, without any overarching reference. Just for fun, if you can imagine that-art for fun.

Where does the self actually go? All the accumulation of memory ? the mist rising from the river and the birth of children and the flying tails of the Arabians in the field ? and all the arcane formulas, the passwords, the poultice recipes, the Latin names of trees, the location of the safe deposit key, the complex skills to repair and build and grow and harvest ? when someone dies, where does it all go?

As an artist your trajectory just has to keep going up. The thing that subverts your next body of work is the work you've taken before.

I believe that photographs actually rob all of us of our memory.

I just started taking pictures, and it was - it was an instant love affair. It was just ecstatic. Sally Mann Love, Pictures, Started You start blocking out things, and that's a really important part of taking a picture is the ability to isolate what you're - what you're concentrating on.

I?m past photographing to see what things look like photographed.

Like all photographers, I depend on serendipity, and when you're photographing children there's often an abundance of it. I would have an idea of what a photograph would look like and then something would happen - a dog might lumber in and become a critical element. I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance.

The fact is that these are not my children; they are figures on silvery paper slivered out of time. They represent my children at a fraction of a second on one particular afternoon with infinite variables of light, expression, posture, muscle tension, mood, wind and shade. These are not my children at all; these are children in a photograph.

This kind of telescopic compassion is not an uncommon phenomenon, and has a close relative in the kindness one sees displayed toward pampered urban household pets, even as, a stone?s throw away, homeless people sleep on benches.

Writing is much, much harder than taking pictures because you have to man-haul it all out of your insides.

As ephemeral as our footprints were in the sand along the river, so also were those moments of childhood caught in the photographs. And so will be our family itself, our marriage, the children who enriched it and the love that has carried us through so much. All this will be gone. What we hope will remain are these pictures, telling our brief story.

First Name
Sally
Last Name
Mann
Birth Date
1951
Bio

American Photographer