JEREMY MANN

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Un­bound

Araw­ness per­me­ates through Jeremy Mann’s paint­ings. There’s an or­ga­nized madness to it all as his seem­ingly im­pro­vi­sa­tional paints are laid down around pris­tine fig­ures, their flaw­less fea­tures jux­ta­posed with the pri­mal ap­pli­ca­tion of color around them. Paint is mashed, rolled, swiped and stabbed onto the can­vas be­fore it is flayed open and reap­plied yet again. “…De­stroy­ing and then re­build­ing paint­ings stage af­ter stage is not only thrilling af­ter the fact, but also has the look, the feel­ing of his­tory, melan­choly and mem­ory that I am want­ing in my art,” Mann told us re­cently.

In The Un­bound Process, his new­est solo show, many of those paint qual­i­ties can be seen in Mann’s pho­tog­ra­phy, which will take cen­ter stage in a unique new ex­hi­bi­tion open­ing Novem­ber 16 at Prin­ci­ple Gallery in Alexan­dria, Vir­ginia. Like his painted works, Mann’s pho­tog­ra­phy has a raw qual­ity to it, with works that show a high level of de­sign, cos­tum­ing, com­po­si­tion and set­ting, but with an un­fin­ished, al­most found-footage qual­ity to it. The im­ages have a dis­tressed look to them, with ar­eas that in­clude dust, scratches, light leaks and other dark­room trauma. And yet, like the paint­ings, the fig­ures’ beauty shines through, as if draw­ing power from the spon­tane­ity of the madness around them.

When asked if the works were ex­ten­sions of the paint­ings, or if he viewed pho­tog­ra­phy as a sep­a­rate medium al­to­gether, Mann, who has also been ex­per­i­ment­ing with fea­ture films, bun­dled all of it to­gether. “I would say [the pho­tog­ra­phy] is just an­other ex­ten­sion of me as an art form in the same way as my paint­ings and mo­tion pic­tures, po­etry and writ­ing are as well. Each artist is just that, a sin­gle and unique per­spec­tive, con­tained within one mind and soul,” he says. “It’s the choice to out­put that per­spec­tive, which makes a per­son an artist. Not be­ing lim­ited by a medium is the most free form of that ex­pres­sion, and while there are many ways to ex­press your­self, find­ing a mul­ti­tude of fun­da­men­tally sim­i­lar ways helps per­fect the lan­guage of art in which I’m try­ing to best ex­press my­self to the world.”

Mann has cho­sen to shoot his sub­jects with an un­con­ven­tional as­sort­ment of

cam­eras. “The cam­eras I use are home­made amal­ga­ma­tions of an­tique cam­era parts, ci­gar boxes and Po­laroid backs, along with some per­sonal mod­i­fi­ca­tions to achieve the im­ages I pre­fer while main­tain­ing full con­trol over ex­po­sure set­tings,” he says. “Two kinds of Po­laroids are used, the older Fuji pull-apart Po­laroids, which are now go­ing ex­tinct, and the newer in­stant Po­laroids, the lat­ter of which I’ve de­vel­oped a highly spe­cial­ized process in the dark­room of re­mov­ing a neg­a­tive from them, which al­lows me even greater re­sults in the dark­room for en­larg­ing, dodg­ing, burn­ing, cus­tom lay­ers and fil­ters and more.”

Clint Mansell, di­rec­tor at Prin­ci­ple in Alexan­dria, says he’s ex­cited to show a dif­fer­ent type of Mann’s work in the gallery. “Over the years we’ve ex­hib­ited solely oil paint­ings by Jeremy Mann, but with his ven­tures into film and pho­tog­ra­phy, it’s clear his pas­sions aren’t just for paint­ings, his pas­sion is for art,” Mansell says. “His pho­to­graphs in­cor­po­rate ev­ery­thing suc­cess­ful about his paint­ings. Us­ing hand­made cam­eras and non­tra­di­tional print­ing tech­niques, Mann cre­ates gor­geous, mem­o­rable pho­to­graphs that con­tain his sig­na­ture style im­bued in every as­pect of their cre­ation.”

In ad­di­tion to pho­to­graphs, Mann will be show­ing new painted works. The show opens Novem­ber 16 with a re­cep­tion from 6:30 to 9 p.m., with an artist talk planned for Novem­ber 17 at 6 p.m.

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5Sil­ver gelatin print, 5½ x 5½"5

3Sil­ver gelatin print3

4Sil­ver gelatin print, 5½ x 5½"4

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