Art21: Sally Mann


When it comes to picking an intriguing art form, for me, photography tends to take a backseat behind many of the other styles out there. While I can easily see how many can become enraptured by certain photographs it has never been my go-to exhibit when visiting museums. However, after watching Art21’s feature on Sally Mann I too can now admit that I have become captivated by a photographers work. It is obvious, just from this short interview with Mann, that she puts everything she has into her work and that it consumes all of her being.

“If it doesn’t have ambiguity don’t bother to take it. […] It’s got to have some sort of peculiarity in it or it’s not interesting to me.”

When it comes to the controversial photographs of her kids she mentions that it’s not that she has an interest in photographing children it’s just that they  were simply there. She doesn’t see their nudity as something to be upset about because to her it is perfectly normal. That is how she grew up and that is how she raised her own kids. When I look at the photographs that she has taken of those in her family my eye doesn’t focus on the nudity of those featured. Instead I see the stubborn curiosity of a young girl or the unbreakable bond between siblings. Sally Mann has a brilliant talent for capturing the innocence of a child and it is that with which we should focus on not what may or may not be seen as controversial in today’s society.


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