Mary Ellen Mark was an American photographer, mostly famous for her documentary work troughout the United States, but also in India for instance. Mary Ellen Mark has published work in important magazines such as Life, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, and she was a member of Magnum Photos from 1977 to 1982.
Her work, mostly made in black and white, is characterized by a social approach and the importance of portrait work. Her empathetic eye and the often classical construction of her images, combined with the sometimes strange, unusual or quirky subjects or moments she has photographed could place her work at the crossroads of French humanist photographers (Cartier-Bresson, Doisneau, etc.) and Diane Arbus.
Throughout her career, she was also a set photographer on many movies, including Coppola's "Apocalypse Now".
Among the important photobooks she has published: "Passport" (Lustrum Press, 1974), "Ward 81" (Simon & Schuster, 1979), "Falkland Road, Prostitutes of Bombay" (Knopf, 1981), and the retrospective of her work "American Odyssey 1963-1999" (Aperture, 1999).
In 2020, German publisher Steidl releases an imposing box set of 3 volumes in a slipcase, conceived and edited by her husband and collaborator of 30 years Martin Bell, simply titled "The Book of Everything".
Presentation by Steidl: " Conceived and edited by film director Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark's husband and collaborator for 30 years, The Book of Everything celebrates in over 600 images and diverse texts Mark's extraordinary life, work and vision. From 1963 to her death in 2015, Mark told brilliant, intimate, provocative stories of characters whom she...