MANN Robert Charles, Photography

Artist statement
I hope one finds my photographs an experience rich in dreams and that they induce an exploration of the psyche. Several different lensless cameras are used to accomplish this. The pinhole camera has a way of suggesting objects rather than representing them because of the particular quality the pinhole image produces. This suggestive character carries with it a more profound mystery, which is not found on the surface of the image but rather in the possibilities of interpretation. The pinhole camera provides the aesthetic means needed for a subjective experience by the viewer. When this technique is combined with my themes and choice of subjects, the photographs begin to breath and become metaphoric environments.


A singular characteristic of pinhole photography is the fact that exposures are quite long, varying from seconds to hours, or in the case of these solargraphs, to months. This cumulative exposure produces effects that cannot be seen by the eye. Moving objects become translucent, having a vibrating quality, and some objects may become completely transparent in the process due to displacement during exposure. There are objects in my photographs that produce effects that seem unassociated with the object itself.


The Solargraph Series is an experiment in both method and concept. Using the idea that the path of the sun through the sky changes each day and that a long exposure will yield a cumulative image of these paths, I point the pinhole camera toward the sky where the sun will be during the six months from solstice to solstice, either winter to summer or summer to winter. The final image is not a montage of several different images, but rather the result of a single continuous exposure for six months of the sun. This work bridges old school traditional techniques with modern digital techniques. The prints for each image are made on pure cotton fiber based paper with permanent inks.


An image's significance may change with every choice I make concerning its qualities of contrast, density, and tone. A photographic image can be printed in thousands of ways. The tactile quality of the print is as important as the choice of materials.


These photographs carry the possibility of many messages. They are enigmas born to be deciphered by the viewer.


Robert Charles MANN

Biography

When Robert was eight years old he made his first photographic print with a negative from his father’s archive. This, mind you, is before he had even taken a photograph. Robert’s father, who was also a photographer amongst many other renaissance man qualities, had a darkroom in their home. As a result Robert discovered the magic of photography in reverse so to speak. His mother, a concert pianist, influenced his particular photographic bent toward a more expressionist vision with her repertoire of 19th century impressionist composers.

During the 1980’s Robert was involved with many experimental music and performance art projects incorporating electronic and prepared instruments with visual installations. He started photographing for Exposure Magazine and concurrently took on the role of studio manager and exclusive printer for Herb Ritts producing all of his early books and editorial work. He soon became one of the most sought after photographic specialists in Los Angeles printing the work of Helmut Newton, Mary Ellen Mark, Michel Comte, Dennis Hopper, Peter Lindbergh and Sheila Metzner among many others. His work also includes producing prints for Twelve Tree and Twin Palms photographic books as well as the Hollywood Archives. Robert has published several photographic processes and his darkroom is on the cover of the renowned book “The New Darkroom Handbook” and featured inside. A count made several years ago by looking at past work documents proved that Robert has made over one million prints.

In 1989, with an international reputation in photography and photographic printing, Robert moved to Paris France. Today his work is made primarily with pinhole cameras and traditional nobel metal based printing techniques that achieve his particular photographic vision. He also composes music for films, television and multimedia. 

Recently Robert has been working with Brad Pitt, first producing his story of Angelina Jolie for W Magazine and continues printing Pitt’s massive archive of negatives. Pitt has become a collector of Robert’s work from the “Orbit Series” and “Flower Series”.

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Exhibitions

• L’ARBRE C’EST LE TEMPS RENDU VISIBLE

2019 – Galerie Capazza, Laura Capazza-Durand curator, Nançay France

• SOLARGRAPHS

2018-2019 – Galerie Asinerie du Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chantal Colleu-Dumond curator, Chaumont-sur-Loire France

• META PAYSAGES

2017-2018 – Galeries Hautes du Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chantal Colleu-Dumond curator, Chaumont-sur-Loire France

• THEN CAME NOW

2012 – Musée de Vendôme, Aline Manoukian curator, Vendôme France

• SAINTS AND SINNERS

2011 – Antebellum Gallery, Rick Castro curator, Los Angeles, California

• ROBERT CHARLES MANN

2011 – Les Curieuses, David Gaillard curator, Paris France

• ROBERT MANN

2009 – Galerie Basia Embiricos, Ku Khahn curator, Paris, France

• ROBERT MANN

2006 – Ritual Gallery, Arno Ferrié curator, Paris, France

• PINGYAO INTERNATIONAL

2005 – Pingyao Museum, Pingyao, China

• ROBERT CHARLES MANN

2004 – University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

• SUMMER GROUP EXHIBITION

2004 – Drabinsky Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• MARUBI 2003

2003 – National Gallery of Arts, Tirana, Albania

• ORBITS

2003 – Lonsdale Gallery, Linda Book curator, Toronto, Canada

• LANDSCAPES, HANDS, FLOWERS

2003 – Charles Nes Gallery, New York, New York

• PINHOLE AND PHOTOGRAMS

2003 – Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• NEW WORKS

2002 – Charles Nes, New York, New York

• REFLECTIONS

2002 – Lonsdale Gallery, Linda Book curator, Toronto, Canada

• FLOWERS

2002 – Michael Dunsford Gallery, Seattle, Washington

• ONE OFF

2001 – Special Photographers Gallery, London, England

• AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHERS

2001 – French Institute, New York, New York

• WHY PINHOLE?

2001 – Visual Studies Workshop Gallery, Rochester, New York

• VUES DE TOURAINE

2001 – Maison du Loir et Cher, Blois, France

• OUT THERE HERE

2000 – Provincetown Museum of Art, Provincetown, Massachusetts

• TRACING SHADOWS

2000 – Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• PHOTO L.A. 2000

2000 – Charles Nes, Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, California

• MILLENNIUM

1999 – Special Photographers Gallery, London, England

• MAGIAE NATURALIS

1999 – Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• PINHOLE ART

1999 – Ohio Art League, Columbus, Ohio

• WINDOW SERIES

1999 – Pinhole Visions Gallery, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

• SANS OBJECTIF

1998 – Carré Davidson Galerie, Tours, France

• PAYSAGES TOURAINE

1998 – Carré Davidson Galerie, Tours, France

• CAMERA READY

1998 – York Quay Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• PINHOLE INTERNATIONAL

1998 – Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• AVANT PREMIER

1997 – Claude Samuel Galerie, Paris, France

• ESPRIT DES LIEUX

1997 – Château de Tours, Tours, France

• PETIT FORMAT

1997 – Carré Davidson Galerie, Tours, France

 

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