When I was 13 I didn’t know what kind of art I liked. I wasn’t very interested to be honest. But one morning I was reading my dads news paper and I saw an add for an art exhibition called The American oddessey by Mary Ellen Mark. I didn’t know that she was pretty famous then. In the add they showed a picture of a young girl wearing a nice hat. I remember that I thought she looked sad. Usually when someone takes your picture you smile and look happy but this girl wasn’t and I couldn’t understand why. I showed my mum the add and said I wanted to go. She said that we could go because she also was intrigued by the young girl. We never made it to the art show and why not I can’t remember.
About two years ago I saw another add about the same show and it said that it would be the last show because the pictures were going home after this one. I went to the art show with my friends Diego and Karolina. Finally after 10 + years I finally got to see all the lovely pictures she took. Before this I’ve read a lot about her online and seen her pictures but seeing them in real life and reading the descriptions was something else.
It’s incredible how art can affect you. How a picture of an american “trailer trash” girl can affect a swedish 13 year old girl living in a cottage in southern Sweden. It’s incredible that Mary Ellen Mark for so many years have produced hundreds of photos portraying the under class and even famous groupes and singers etc. There is something raw in the way she gets her objects to be real. You can put them in fancy clothes but it’s in the eyes. People may be high or drunk or happy but Mark has a way of capturing honesty in their eyes. It’s hard to explain, you will have to study her pictures yourself. Just be aware that if she can affect a little girl like she did with me then she has a great amount of talent. And me seeing that add changed my life.
This is Tiny. Mary Ellen Mark went on to photograph Tiny consistently every couple of years. Apparently she had a rough life. The most recent information I could find about her was this article: “Tiny Has Nine Children“