Our MANN in Madrid
He sounds sooo New York, New York “…I want to be a part of it,” that it’s hard to imagine him as a Scottish tot, but “ach away”, Glasgow-born celebrity photographer Mark Mann is a top of the heap portraiture wiz and his Esquire’s 80th: The Life of Man series is as good as it gets.
Mann’s brief? To celebrate the prestigious men’s monthly’s 80th anniversary by creating “a living portrait of the American man” in 2013: “One born in each year of Esquire’s history. Young. Old. Rich. Poor. Presidents. Movie legends. Rock stars. Space babies…”
A selection of his captivating ring light close-ups is featured in a show titled Life of a Man, currently ‘on tour’ in Europe, and LATIN LOVERRR landed upon the “Mann” himself at the Saturday morning opening of its Madrid stopover, hosted by the Spainmedia Gallery, within steps of the Reina Sofia museum, an ever-expanding powerhouse of modern and contemporary art…
A quintessential ‘Leica man’, Mark Mann visibly enjoyed tackling the technical challenges of this unique assignment, which included an Oval Room shoot with President Obama. However, the chief quality of these brief encounters is the human touch, and some of them are more unforgettable than others.
Remeeting ’60s heartthrob, Robert Redford 40 years after is a startling experience. Born in 1936, Redford is number 77 on Esquire’s list, which may account for some of the magic. As resolutely unforgiving and eerily out of focus as all of the others, his more real-than-hyper-real portrait is informed by everything we know about his life choices – from Sundance Kid to Sundance film fest initiator, and beyond… It’s hardly surprising that we can’t take our eyes off the guy…!