Penelope Slinger, Bird in the Hand (1977) Photo- ©Penelope Slinger Courtesy Riflemaker, London- creativemapping
Penelope Slinger, Bird in the Hand (1977) Photo- ©Penelope Slinger Courtesy Riflemaker, London- creativemapping

Penelope Slinger, Bird in the Hand (1977) Photo- ©Penelope Slinger Courtesy Riflemaker, London- creativemapping

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Imaginary Interview with Mary Ellen Mark

The photography world just lost a major creative and WOW was she legendary. Her name is Mary Ellen Mark. You might already know who she is, in which case, indulge your worship, otherwise, you probably heard about her on your Facebook feed... Yet another great artist that only starts "trending" thanks to a death (by the way, she was 75 when she passed, and will be terribly missed, she was one of the great ones).

MaryEllenMark-death-creativemapping1
MaryEllenMark-death-creativemapping1

MaryEllenMark-death-creativemapping1

 

She was one of the edgiest photographers out there. Not for photographing half naked models or for documenting a leg fetish, but for literally photographing people on the edge of society.

Freak shows

American's mid-west underbelly

Street kids

Poverty

Patriotism.

And her portraits are seriously breathtaking. Disturbing. Fascinating. We can barely take our eyes off them.

creativemapping-maryellenmark-death-6
creativemapping-maryellenmark-death-6

creativemapping-maryellenmark-death-6

 

Since Mary Ellen Mark is no longer here to be interviewed, we are turning her into an honorary mapper, and imagining up our interview with her using real quotes straight from her lips.

 

creativemapping-maryellenmark-death
creativemapping-maryellenmark-death

creativemapping-maryellenmark-death

 

An Imaginary Interview with Honorary Mapper Mary Ellen Mark

CM: Why black and white?

"I work in colour sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white - I like the abstraction of it." Mary Ellen Mark

CM: Your relationship to your subjects?

"I just think it's important to be direct and honest with people about why you're photographing them and what you're doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul." Mary Ellen Mark

There are some people who become best friends with everyone they photograph. There are people that I really like and admire and respect, but in a way I think it's better to keep a distance. I think you get better pictures of people that you don't know very well." Mary Ellen Mark

CM: Digital or film?

"I'm not against digital photography. It's great for newspapers. And there are photographers doing great work digitally. When they use Photoshop as a darkroom tool, that's fine, too. But at this point of my life, after so many years, I don't really want to change, and I still love film." Mary Ellen Mark

CM: If you weren't a photographer you would be...

"If I hadn't become a photographer, I would have loved to become a doctor. I would have loved to have done something that actually helped people and changed their lives." Mary Ellen Mark

CM: Best advice for aspiring creatives?

Photograph the world as it is. Nothing's more interesting than reality." Mary Ellen Mark

 

P.S. We're posting even edgier unseen photographs by Mary Ellen Mark on our Instagram.

 

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