Nomadic nudes and desert skylines collide in Jim Mangan's latest project Notom
Illinois-born photographer Jim Mangan is a natural wanderer, hopping from Europe to Utah on shoots ever since quitting his snowboarding industry day job back in 2010 to pursue a career shooting in faraway lands. The radical switch-up clearly paid off with a successful three-part series on rebirth to show for his Utah desert relocation and now, more recently, at Sundance Film Festival where one of Mangan's Notom shots has featured in the group exhibition Space alongsider other Dazed favourites Juergen Teller and Nan Goldin. Shot on 35mm and inspired by a blend of his previous figurative work (Color'd and Bedu) and abstract landscape projects (Time of Nothing and Bastard Child) Mangan's latest series, Notom combines the two as statuesque nudes loom across the stark, vast horizons of the Southern Utah desert. Describing the shooting process behind Notom Mangan said, "I often shot intentionally out of focus or with camera movement to truly blend the figurative and the abstract elements together" – an effect which only heightens the tranquil edge to the dune nudes. The name Notom originates from a town that used to be based near the outskirts of Mangan's shoot location back in 1883 but is now no longer standing. Notom's largest population peaked at just 23 families, an aptly insular group for Mangan's isolated sand-clan namesake, "Our group became this small tight knit family so the name seemed perfect for this project".