New York Through the Eyes of Mary Ellen Mark

Award winning photographer Mary Ellen Mark is a critically acclaimed photographer known for her expertise in the areas of advertising photography, portraiture and photojournalism. Around 16 compilations of her photographic works have been published and exhibited at various locations around the globe. She has been endowed with the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award thrice and has received triple fellowships from the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts).

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Early life


She started her early years in photography by following transvestite culture, the women’s liberation movement and movements associated with the Vietnam War. This was how her photographic affair with the troubled aspects of society began. She also worked as a still photographer for many popular Hollywood films such as Apocalypse Now, Catch 22, Carnal Knowledge, and Restaurant. She even worked as an associate producer and writer for the movie, American Heart. The movie was directed her husband, Martin Bell.
She has published 17 photographic works and has worked with major print publications such as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Life and The New Yorker. She even played the role of guest juror at The Center for Fine Art Photography.


Her specialization


Mary Ellen Mark specializes in black and white photography covering subjects related to society and the issues affecting it. Her aim has always been to acknowledge the presence of people who live on the fringes of society. She has covered topics ranging from homelessness and loneliness to drug addiction and prostitution.


Pursuing the same theme, she released the book ‘A Cry for Help: Stories of Homelessness and Hope’ in the year 1996. The book explores the lives of homeless children in New York, who live with their parents at the H.E.L.P (Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged) shelters.


The book aims at making readers understand the tough and unique circumstances faced by homeless people, especially children. Mary Ellen Marks’s photography does great justice to the book by illustrating the pain, sorrow and also, the hope that homeless people experience in their lives. Her beautifully constructed photos provide an accurate description of homelessness in New York and the suffering associated with the growing problem.


‘A Cry for Help: Stories of Homelessness and Hope’ can be found for purchase on Amazon. The 104 page book is filled with vivid pictures depicting the day to day lives of New York’s homeless population.

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