A native of Los Angeles, Sean Lotman draws his inspiration from narrative fiction as well as cinema, his palette honoring the unreal colors of Technicolor films from the 1940s and 1950s. He creates the special, somewhat psychedelic atmosphere in his work through liberal color experimentation and an unorthodox dodge-and-burn technique in his darkroom. While printing his images, he is searching for a subjective feeling more resembling reverie than reality. The Sniper Paused So He Could Wipe His Brow is his fourth book. He lives in Kyoto, Japan, with his wife, Ariko, their son, Tennbo, and their dog, Monk.
"Originally a writer of stories, I am interested in the narrative potential of photography-- how pictures can be assembled to articulate a mood-- and the mood I am most concerned with aesthetically is one of surreality. A child of comic books, Twilight Zone episodes, and Technicolor musicals, I am interested in reconstituting realities parallel to ours, somewhat familiar bur rather not, like half-remembered dreams. As an American in Japan, essentially a stranger needing to adapt to a society unlike the one I've always known, I have, in turn, attempted to turn Japanese geography, people and signs into an imagination all my own, filtered through a psychedelically-infused color palette. It is a world of my own making, transposed upon my color darkroom prints. Vividly portrayed in reds, blues, blacks, and yellows, this is a land of people and place and visualised not as they are, but as they never could be."
Sniper Artist Statement: Memory has a fascinating way of forming narrative. We believe we recall something as it happened only to find evidence that events were in fact rather different. I'm intrigued by the flaw of misremembered pasts. Whatever facts are attached to an experience inevitably fade, while strange details are exaggerated and given primacy. I wanted to give form to this bewilderment with The Sniper Paused So He Could Wipe His Brow (The M Editions & IBASHO, 2021). Comprising 95 photographs drawn from twenty countries, shot over the span of 15 years, all of them handmade darkroom color prints taken with a Diana f+ toy camera, the images feel rooted out from any discernible reality, akin to recollected dreams (which have the same eerie elusiveness of long-past moments). The book is designed in three parts, with a split binding in Parts I & III, so that the reader becomes a collaborator, mixing and matching different sets of photographs in a kind of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure experience. Thus, every time you engage with the book, your reading of it will be unique depending on how you arrange the book's flaps. Sniper reminds the reader that our understanding of things evolve with time and nothing is quite like we remember it.