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Transcript of Sally Mann
to Subject Matter Communication
of Ideas and Meaning Personal
Life Sally's photography is influenced by the things closest too her that give her comfort; these being her family and children. She saw her children as being an artwork themselves, so she began to document their lives through the lens of her camera and create art out of their actions. Sally has also photographed her husband Larry because she was inspired by his muscular dystrophy. Her father also had a hobby of assemblage, which influenced her to create art from an early age, and the first camera she used was his own 5x7 camera which became the basis of her use of large format cameras today. Similarly, Sally was inspired by nature as it had a sentimental value to her. She grew up in the Blue Mountains of Virginia, and her property that she now lives on reflects those memories of home. Sally quotes; “When I was about six my father gave me a book called Artists Everywhere, and it was one of those kids’ books where it tells you to crawl under the table cloth of your dining room table and look for the intriguing crumbs that you find on the floor and appreciate the quotidian. And I must have taken it to heart because I’ve never forgotten the book, and the concept is valid to me now as it was then.” This concept represents how Sally is inspired to make art out of the everyday and ordinary lifestyle, which is why she rarely left her own home to make art. It explains that even the simple things in life can have beauty to them, which she portrays in all her works through her children and the landscapes surrounding her home. American photographer Sally Mann is best known for her black and white photography of her children and landscapes, and has inspired many with her unique style. She has exhibited her works nationally, and is considered by many as one of America’s most renowned photographers. Sally Mann’s technique of photography challenges what most artists would consider the most common working method. She uses a one-hundred year old 8" x 10" camera, and along a complex method of printing, Sally is able to produce large formatted, over exposed photographs. Some of her photos are purposely taken with a damaged lens to amplify irregularities of focus and, in some cases; she has used her own hand as a shutter. Sally’s photos of her children convey both primal and playful aspects of human behavior, and her photography of landscapes are portrayed as romantic, disfigured and luminous to suggest beauty within the world surrounding us. Sally Mann has written a total of 8 books in her career. Her current projects include a series of self-portraits, a multipart study of the legacy of slavery in Virginia, and intimate images of her family and life. Sally continues to inspirer many people today with her unique form of photography. Sally Mann is a strong advocate for the black and white style of photography. All her works are portrayed in either this style, with some variations in exposure and contrast, or a sepia effect. She does this to achieve the vintage/ historical look of her photos that connote historical photography; especially the Victorian era and pictorialism. Pictorialism is the name given to a photographic movement in vogue from around 1885 following the widespread introduction of the dry-plate process. It reached its height in the early years of the 20th century, and declined rapidly after 1914 after the widespread emergence of Modernism. Sally would often pose her children in her photographs, and direct them into positions she thought were interesting. However she also photographed them as candid, performing activities involved within their everyday lifestyles. Sally was the youngest of three born to Robert S. Munger and Elizabeth Evans Munger in Lexington, Virginia on May 1, 1951. After she graduated, Sally married Larry Mann who is a full-time attorney, and has muscular dystrophy with progressive weakness. The two had three children: Emmett, born in 1979, Jessie, born in 1981, and Virginia, born in 1985. In almost all of her photos, Sally's subjects are of pubescent girls portrayed as naked, dirty, or wounded, in intimate positions that suggest that they're matured sexually and emotionally. Her photos are often judged by critics as disturbing and inappropriate and in some ways pornographic, but many others suggest that they portray elegance and beauty.