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.