I had the chance to see Becca Mann's paintings few years ago when my art collective, Thin Ice Collective, ( which has since disbanded) had a phenomenal opportunity to show in a group exhibition at Roberts and Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles in a sister space called Domestic. Becca Mann was showing in the main space, and it was one of the few times I can recall being absolutely enamored of the way a painting was painted in a gallery setting. The combination of realism and delicacy with strange subject matter and a masterful technique in oil left an impression on me.
She paints and draws found photos from many different places and time periods, and uses a subtly modern palette to inject magentas and bright blues into the black and gray colors of the photo. She also paints in the worn edges and tears present in the original photo to make the painting a representation of the photo and not simply the image. I don't know much about what she is up to now, but she got her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and had another solo show at Roberts and Tilton in 2009.
What made the show really unexpectedly great for us was not only being at a super fancy gallery in LA, where we were even taken to a fantastic dinner, but also that of all people in the crowd Robert DeNiro came to the opening! Holy shit! Then we found out that Becca Mann is the daughter of uber-famous director, Michael Mann, of "Heat" and "Last of the Mohicans". We figured that DeNiro was there as a bud of her dad, but it was still cool that he saw our show and we were star struck. Ordinarily, I would have said something like, "Oh, typical. Pampered daughter of famous dad gets the royal treatment at a prestigious gallery!" However, I think she really has the goods as a painter, and I say that she deserved the spotlight.
Mary Lone Bear
Romanov Family Portrait