Sally Mann

Sally
Mann
1951

American Photographer

Author Quotes

I smoked, I drank, I skipped classes, I snuck out, I took drugs, I stole quarts of ice cream for my dorm by breaking into the kitchen storerooms, I made out with my boyfriends in the library basement, I hitchhiked into town and down I-91, and when caught, I weaseled out of all of it . . . There is no need to switch on the fog machine of ambiguity around these facts: I was still a problem child.

If it doesn?t have ambiguity, don?t bother to take it. I love that, that aspect of photography?the mendacity of photography?it?s got to have some kind of peculiarity in it or it?s not interesting to me.

Matte digital prints are gorgeous, don't you agree? But the glossy digital prints, I just can't stand that paper.

The proverbial hospitality of the South may be selectively extended but it is not a myth.

To identify a person as a Southerner suggests not only that her history is inescapable and formative but that it is also impossibly present. Southerners live uneasily at the nexus between myth and reality, watching the mishmash amalgam of sorrow, humility, honor, graciousness, and renegade defiance play out against a backdrop of profligate physical beauty.

Before the invention of photography, significant moments in the flow of our lives would be like rocks placed in a stream: impediments that demonstrated but didn?t diminish the volume of the flow and around which accrued the debris of memory, rich in sight, smell, taste, and sound. No snapshot can do what the attractive mnemonic impediment can: when we outsource that work to the camera, our ability to remember is diminished and what memories we have are impoverished.

I don't know what the instinct is, to save every report card, every half-sentence scribbled note, but my mother did it pretty effectively, and I've done it to a fare-thee-well.

I struggle with enormous discrepancies: between the reality of motherhood and the image of it, between my love for my home and the need to travel, between the varied and seductive paths of the heart. The lessons of impermanence, the occasional despair and the muse, so tenuously moored, all visit their needs upon me and I dig deeply for the spiritual utilities that restore me: my love for the place, for the one man left, for my children and friends and the great green pulse of spring.

I'm not an ardent feminist - well, maybe I am an ardent feminist. I just roll my eyes at the way women are constantly used and how sensitive men are about photographs of themselves.

My main interest was finding boyfriends. I'd park myself in the bookstore and read with one eye on everyone coming in.

The Texas Republic, whose constitution expressed an overheated enthusiasm for America?s peculiar institution, had been created in 1836 in part as a way for slave-owners to keep their human property by effectively seceding from Mexico where slavery was illegal. These are well-known facts, except possibly in Texas,

Unless you photograph what you love, you're not going to make good art.

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,

First Name
Sally
Last Name
Mann
Birth Date
1951
Bio

American Photographer