|Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015)|
Image from Man and Beast
Here is fellow Magnum photographer Eli Reed (A Long Walk Home) on Mary Ellen Mark:
I heard of Mary Ellen Mark's passing late today with some shock and sadness. She was and is one of the foundations of true photojournalism in a time that needed her kind of important additions to what is needed to tell important stories with truth, beauty, and a healthy respect for her subjects.
They were not just subjects. Many became friends that stayed in touch with her throughout her life. The dimming of her light is an extremely important loss at this time in photographic history. There are so many well meaning professionals and amateurs who have tried to copy the work of photographers that possibly inhabit the same space that she lived in and the well meaning failed for the most part.
One needed to have the same kind of faith in your own original vision that Mary Ellen Mark displayed time after time. It seems too many photographers did not get that very important memo. Particularly the part of that memo that tells you to get ready for failure so that when victory comes—it will be as sweet as a Georgia peach.
Mary Ellen could have been a very tough US Marine if she had somehow and for some reason thought to go in that direction but fortunately for the rest of us—she chose the path of being as gentle as the sweetest kiss from a Summer's sweet breeze celebrating the coming of a sultry night.
Mary Ellen Mark was a magnificent human being who gave, through the work she produced, much more then she received and I mourn her passing. She was a special kind of a living day and night that brings to the front very beautiful mornings. Sweets dreams to her is a good thing.
Read Mary Ellen in conversation with Melissa Harris, editor-in-chief of Aperture Foundation, and Martin Bell, Mark's husband, former politician, and British UNICEF Ambassador, in this excerpt from Man and Beast.
Here she is giving a book talk at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in 2014:
“She was sort of chivalrous...a remarkable woman and a remarkable friend.” Mary Ellen Mark: http://t.co/9JjNAgaCDQ pic.twitter.com/2yjBCGZUgw— NYT Photo (@nytimesphoto) May 26, 2015
R.I.P photographer Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015); passed away at age of 75. Ride many a mile, Mary... pic.twitter.com/cq4RlOVTFK— Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) May 26, 2015
RIP Mary Ellen Mark, an inspiration to us all http://t.co/sq9HAQCWXE— American Photo (@AmericanPhoto) May 26, 2015
There are very few photographers that completely turned the medium on its head. Mary Ellen Mark was one of them. RIP to a true artist.— J. DennisThomas (@JDennisThomas) May 26, 2015
Mary Ellen Mark, master photographer and"a force of nature"is dead. http://t.co/5dWY3HRY1j Ralph Gibson photo. pic.twitter.com/R9ILOmThS8— JamesEstrin (@JamesEstrin) May 26, 2015
Read more about Mary Ellen Mark and her work:
- In Memoriam: Mary Ellen Mark (1940 – 2015)
- The Leica Camera Blog Interview
- The Photographers Behind Some of the Most Iconic Images of Our Time
- Photo District News slideshow from Man and Beast