Behind Photographs by Tim Mantoani

Happy new year! With the first entry of the year, I thought to share a motivational story featuring San Diego based photographer Tim Mantoani. Tim’s epic photographic archive, “Behind Photographs” typifies the pursuit of dreams no matter the odds.

“Behind Photographs” is an epic archive on two levels. Firstly, Tim Mantoani captures over 158 photographic legends holding onto their most favorite, and often times, most iconic photographic print. The final 20x24 Polaroid is signed by the photographer and includes a personal memory about the photograph. Secondly, Tim captures the who’s who of photography utilizing an instant 20x24” Polaroid camera. No small accomplishment when considering:

1/ Polaroid abandoned the instant photography business completely in 2007, discontinued making instant film in February of 2008. (Above, Douglas Kirkland and James Marshall)

2/ Five 20x24 Cameras were built between 1977—1978 by Vision Research utilized by photographic artists Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jim Dine, William Wegman and many more.

3/ Tim Mantoani initiated the project, renting a 20x24 in 2006 and photographed rock and roll photographer, Jim Marshall (1936-2010) and sports photographer, Michael Zagaris in San Francisco. Immediately hooked on the project’s potential, Tim purchased a 20x24 camera located in Los Angeles.

Tim Mantoani has no doubt invested thousands of personal hours, tens of thousands of dollars and has extended himself to the photographic arts industry in a method that will remain potent throughout history. Photography legends and their iconic photographs include moments in history that capture: Marilyn Monroe, the Beatles, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Orson Welles, Muhammad Ali and over a hundred more featured over 216 pages and doubles as a visual history through time.

Tim and I first initiated discussion about his first monograph back in 2008 at a time when Polaroid had decided to discontinue the manufacturing of its instamatic film camera and film. Over the past three years, several reiterations and reincarnations of the project, “Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends” is a collector’s dream that includes an oversized footprint, richly produced with an eye for detail, iconic imagery which has influenced politics, religion, fashion, music and our cultural sensibilities over the past 75 years.

Tim Mantoani is a dedicated ambassador of the photographic arts who chased an impossible dream and turned it into a historical archive that will last beyond our lifetimes. “Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends” by Tim Mantoani is now available in standard and limited editions on his website.

Sweet happy New Year magic wishes. Apply your dreams and make them happen.

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