Mary Ellen Mark, a remarkable photographer, died on Monday from myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder. She was 75. Known for her photojournalism of dark subjects, such as Mumbai prostitutes, Circus acts, Twins and the souls who haunt the streets of New York, she gave us stories in the way of black and white prints.
When asked in a 1987 interview with Darkroom Magazine why she’s drawn to people from disadvantaged subcultures she said “Much of life is luck. No one can choose whether he’s born into a wealthy, privileged home or born into extreme poverty. I guess I’m interested in people who haven’t had as much of a chance because they reach out more, they need more. They touch me. I do a lot of other work to support myself, but those kinds of projects are the reasons I became a photographer.”
To read more about her extraordinary work, the NY Times has a wonderful retrospective.