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Emmett, Jessie, and Virginia

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Jessie Mann - Untitled

Since the original publication of the Immediate Family in 1992 Mann’s three children have all persued their own separate paths.  The only reference i could find as to Emmett Manns later life is that he is still residing in Virginia and working as a landscaper (see: Model Family @ and youngest daughter Virginia Mann is now studying for a Law degree.

Jessie Mann now 29, is now a successful and practicing artist, writer and model. She Describes her creative work as:

I see painting as a lifelong experimentation into the nature of perception and reality. My interest in painting feels more scientific than anything. It is as if, by using the simple ‘subatomic’ substrates of perception: line, color, saturation, pattern, and light, as controls, I can make the manipulation of these elements the independent variable and consciousness the dependent

Jessie Mann modeling for Len Prince from the collection: Self-Possessed

variable, in some sort of visual, perceptual experiment. The desired outcome of which would be for the paintings to feel as if the viewer is putting together an image, to recreate the sensation of perceiving a reality. These painterly experiments are executed  to determine if, by using these different elements of perceptual reality in recombination,  one can recreate the mental perception of experience.” – quoted from : Artist statement and bio” @

Similar themes can be identified between Sally Mann and her daughter Jessies work. They both concern ideas of natural/worldy forces, a sense of probing the notion of what it is to be alive. Jessie adds in the closing paragrpah of her online artist statement and bio – ” Of course, all of this experimentation, like most scientific study, is done in honor of the perfect and elegant beauty of natural design. ”

How Did/Do the Children Feel About Their Part in the Immediate Family.

 All three of Sally Manns children have constantly remained supportive of their mothers work and never agreed to any suggestions of the immoral or innappropiate photographing of themselves as children. Taken form an interview with Jessie Mann that appeared Aperture Magazine in 2006, she comments;

Sally Mann - Untitled

despite the way those photographs complicated and expanded our lives, I believe that the entire process was for our own good, because it was done with faith in art.” – The Independant

and also in Aperturte (2001)  – “We enjoyed being photographed. It gave us a sense of beauty. As a result of her upbringing, Mom’s a little reserved. She isn’t touchy- affectionate. She had a hard time showing us how much she loved us. But I’ve also realised that each photograph was her way of capturing how much she cared about us”

The three children continued to show faith in their mothers work through their continuing to sit for their mothers  recent work, What Remains, in a series of extreme close-up portraits taken using an antique large format camera, using  glass plate.

Larry Mann

Also featured in this set of portraits was Sally Manns husband, Larry. Larry is seen and addressed little throughout the photographs featured in The Immediate Family, though the book contains a short notes dedicating; “FOR MY HUSBAND, LARRY”.

Larry suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic condition which over time causes weakening of the muscular tissue. I believe the dedication of The Immediate Family to Larry is symbolic of the work itself, it is after all “Family”, the children are certainly present, Mann herself is the mother/the photographer and Larry the father.

In Manns most recent work, Proud Flesh she has compliled a series of nude images of Larry. Sally Comments –

It’s not a stretch to compare these with the more famous pictures of my children. I adore the subjects. But these were much less deliberate. I worked almost by feel, whereas photographing the children was like herding cats. I had limited time with the kids; the pictures with Larry were like one big caress.” – Art21

and in relation

“My mother has no blinders on,” Jessie Mann says. “She will always look intensely upon whatever is closest to her.” – Smithonion Magazine


Written by georgewaincmp

November 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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