And so we must say goodbye and thank you to Mary Ellen Mark, one of the giants of compassionate and concerned photography and an inspiration to me and countless others.
Mary Ellen Mark’s work for me has always been a standard by which all great documentary photography can be judged: engaged and engaging, compassionate but objective, the stories she sought to tell were always captivating and her ability to get ‘under the skin’ of each subject was startling. Whilst the stories were often hard hitting and difficult, the photographs were always direct and to the point, beautifully seen without any need for trickery or unnecessary complexity. From the raw honesty of Ward 81, Falkland Road and Streetwise to the joyfulness of Indian Circus and her commercial film stills right up to the exquisite 20/24 polaroid portraits of ‘Twins’ and ‘Prom’
One of the true greats has gone and will be sorely missed, but we must say thank you for all the extraordinary photographs she has left behind and for the flame that she lit in so many younger photographers of my generation and beyond.
Here’s a tiny reminder…..