Mary Ellen Mark
American photographer



version franšaise

It was at the end of the sixties that Mary Ellen Mark, who started the photo at the age of 9 with a Brownie camera, actually began photography.
Engaged by magazines or studios as a set photographer, she immortalizes actors, actresses but also directors, producers and technicians located on the other side of the camera. For more than 40 years, the photographer attended more than one hundred shootings, including that of Apocalypse Now by Coppola in 1976; Of Tootsie de Pollack in 1982; The Planet of the Apes by Burton in 2001, or more recently by Australia, by Baz Luhrmann in 2008. Part of her photographs are gathered in the book Seen Behind the scene / Forty years of photography on set published by Phaidon in 2008.
Mary Ellen Mark was a committed and humanist photographer, obsessed with madness and marginalization. His work reflects his attachment to the socially excluded.
Adept, among other things, of the format 35 mm and more particularly of the film Kodak Tri-X black and white, the photojournalist, engaged, very quickly dedicated itself to humanistic subjects. From the protest against the Vietnam War to the liberation of women, Mary Ellen Mark immortalizes the social movements of her time. Known for her strong relationship with her "models," she will be interested, for example, in the relationship between prostitutes and their clients in India in her book Falkland Road.
One of his most outstanding works remains Streetwise. This project, directed by her husband director Martin Bell, is devoted to street children in Seattle. It will give rise to a documentary film, released in 1984, and a series of photographs, unveiled in 1988 in an eponymous book. For this documentary, the photographer comes closer to a band of eight idle adolescents and follows them in their lives punctuated by wandering, prostitution and drugs. One of the characters, Tiny, 13 years old at the time, will be photographed over many years: from his 13 years to the present.

Mary Ellen Mark is the author of eighteen books and a multitude of awards including a World Press Photo Award in 1988 and the Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award of the George Eastman House in 2014 for her entire career. She died in New York on May 25, 2015 at the age of 75 and leaves behind an unfinished work.



© Mary Ellen Mark


Clayton Moore, Lone Ranger © Mary Ellen Mark


Henry Miller with Twinka, Pacific Palisades, California 1975 © Mary Ellen Mark


Amanda Marie Ellison © Mary Ellen Mark


© Mary Ellen Mark


© Mary Ellen Mark


© Mary Ellen Mark


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Created the January 7th 2017.
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