Proud FleshPhotographs by Sally Mann
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Children, landscape, lovers—these subjects are almost as common to the photographic lexicon as light itself. But Sally Mann's take on these iconic themes, rendered through both traditional and esoteric processes, is anything but common. Astonishingly original both in image and technique, Mann's work consistently challenges the viewer: in her hands, experiences drawn from daily life are rendered both disquieting and sublime. Now, having studied relationships between parent and child, artist and subject, life and death, Sally Mann: Proud Flesh (Aperture/Gagosian, October 2009) investigates the bonds between husband and wife.
Exquisitely detailed, intimate, psychologically and emotionally intense, Sally Mann: Proud Flesh engages territory most often inhabited by male artists portraying their wives and female lovers as Mann turns the camera to her husband of 39 years, Larry. Beautiful, textured, and provocative, these unprecedented nude studies neither objectify nor celebrate; rather, they go far under the skin to suggest a relationship between man and woman that is profoundly trusting: sensual, sexual, sometimes painful, often indescribably tender, and always unblinkingly honest.
Sally Mann (born in Lexington, Virginia, 1951) is one of America's most renowned photographers. She has received numerous awards, including NEA, NEH, and Guggenheim Foundation grants, and her work is held by major institutions internationally. Mann's many books include What Remains (2003), Deep South (2005), and the Aperture titles At Twelve (1988), Immediate Family (1992), Still Time (1994), Proud Flesh (2009), and The Flesh And The Spirit (2010). She lives in Lexington, Virginia.
Award-winning poet and author C. D. Wright (essay) has published more than nine collections of poetry, including String Light (1991) and Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008), and One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana (2003) with photographer Deborah Luster.