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Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark is primarily known for photojournalism and advertising photography. Sixteen collections of her work have been published. She has won three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards as well as three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Photographer Mary Ellen Mark

Mark has also received the Cornell Capa Award by the International Center of Photography in 2001 and the Infinity Award for Journalism.

Mark has also received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and World Press Award for Outstanding Body of Work "Throughout the Years". Mary Ellen Mark graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962 and received a master's degree in photojournalism from the same university.

Much of Mary Ellen Mark's work captures the authenticity of everyday people and the complexities of their struggles and personalities. Mark has also traveled to countries such as Turkey and India to get a global perspective of the human condition through photography. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, New York Times and The New Yorker.

Mark has also worked in the movie business on the sets of 1971's Carnal Knowledge and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Her groundbreaking 1983 photo essay about runaway children in Seattle, Streetwise, in 1983, gave her an Academy Award nomination.

An example of Mary Ellen Mark's passion for capturing the struggles of ordinary people is her 1983 photo Lillie with Her Rag Doll, which is part of the Streetwise photo essay. This photo shows the hopelessness that runaway children often feel and their fears as well as hopes of a better life. In this photo she is dressed in rags and has a cigarette in her mouth.


She's also standing against the backdrop of a graffiti-tagged black wall. Mary Ellen Mark has also photographed a few celebrities. Among her pictures are a black-and-white photo of Woody Allen and in another photo she features Maya Angelou glancing at a drawing while sitting at home. It shows Maya Angelou in a content and relaxed but still regal state. In another interesting photo, Bizzy Bone of the hip-hop group Bone Thugs and Harmony is laying on a gold-rimmed sofa.

Mary Ellen Mark's career has spanned four decades and her work has been noted by various organizations. Mary Ellen Mark's photos seek to bring an awareness of the ills in society and how these ills affect her subjects in the photos. Mary Ellen Mark also uses black-and-white coloring to give the viewers a realistic understanding of the subjects' lives.

 

Rumor Has It

Rumor has it besides the factual biographical information presented above there is some scandalous rumor afoot that you simply must know about. And this rumor is that Mary Ellen Mark on one or more occasions has been known to play Nirvana loudly while lounging in a Jacuzzi filled with chocolate pudding.


 


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