Raised in a small town in Arkansas, Scarlet Mann journeyed to Los Angeles at twenty one and proceeded to shape a career in fashion photography. Experiencing personal struggles while adapting to a new city, resisting the frenzy of materialism as a means to define social status, and recognizing a distaste for mass consumerism and unquestioned conformity, Mann created an evolving landscape of commercial Los Angeles punctuated by vehicles of the city’s natural beauty. Mann began to transition solely in to the fine art world in 2013 when she created project LA Odyssey as part of a trio collaborating with two other artists. The imagery is iconic yet still disrupted, from capturing her subjects falling 30 feet in the air grazing commercial signage to posing in the backyard of the Beverly Hills Hotel, to walking along the highway of Topanga's bending canyon. Mann presents challenging objectives that recall the absurdity of superficial boundaries existing in Los Angeles, as her subjects find themselves mocking the normal way of life on a journey filled with humbling endeavors to surmount the mask of glory existing merely by their own construction.
Mann’s most recent collection is a reportage of imagery she shot while traveling around America shortly after the election cycle of 2016. Mann says, "My husband and I spent the last year traveling the United States in a Volkswagen Van with our two boys. We wanted to discover America, what it is now. We wanted to get out “in it”. We wanted our children to make up their own minds about the people and places of our country without having to learn via merely the news or other people’s opinions. I think I learned as much as my children did. We marveled at the natural beauty remaining predominantly in the national parks and thereby. But, mostly, I was astonished by the vast amount of decrepit buildings, businesses gone under, and remnants of a once powerful idea. Thus, my project was born. The series is a mix of still life documentation of America and self-portrait nudes shot using a tripod and an intervalometer wearing only a gas mask. The imagery alludes to a candy-like aesthetic with a color palette of pastels and bolds. At first glance, there is a vibrant beauty, yet, upon a closer look, a sadness is exposed, stale in its current despair. The nudity, for me, is the most organic human state without the facade of social standards. It represents liberation, a feeling of complete freedom, void of rules and expectations. The shoots became a sort of performance art piece as I observed feelings of vulnerability juxtaposed with an empowering freedom engulfing me as I was surrounded by the vast grandeur of nature. I used a gas mask as an allegory to the toxicity ever-present in society I feel I must guard myself from. Stuck ideas, racism, bigotry, and hate fill the news channels. Massive economic disparities, environmental concerns, and even scares with our food have become the norm. AMERICA AND I looks at the gritty underbelly of the reality that is now America and the elusiveness of 'The American Dream'."