Everyone knows and loves Diane Arbus. But perhaps not everyone knows Mary Ellen Mark even though their work has been linked and compared to one another a lot. Mary Ellen Mark is an American Photgrapher who started shooting at 9 using a Brownie box camera and has travelled the world to photograph its long forgotten people. Occasionally she has also worked as a cinema photographer.
I love Mary Ellen Mark’s work for the subject choice obviously, first of all. People who don’t belong to glossy magazines and to our perfect world. Junkies, homeless, runaways, the poor, the mentally ill, protestors, drag queens, prostitutes, lonely people, weird people. Usually in black and white her strangely strong and gripping pictures approach their subject in a most respecting and most real way without the slightest hint of voyeurism. No matter which culture she chooses to explore looking for people outside society’s borders, her work always remains universal and speaks to anyone.