Mary Ellen Mark, voted by the readers of American Photo as the most influential woman photographer of all time, has made some of America's most iconic images in a career spanning more than three decades. In Twins, Mark turns her eye and her heart to the extraordinary bond that exists between these very special siblings. For two years in a row, she set up a studio on the site of America's premier twins festival and invited participants to be photographed. Using a twenty-by-twenty-four-inch Polaroid camera, Mark ...
Mary Ellen Mark, voted by the readers of American Photo as the most influential woman photographer of all time, has made some of America's most iconic images in a career spanning more than three decades. In Twins, Mark turns her eye and her heart to the extraordinary bond that exists between these very special siblings. For two years in a row, she set up a studio on the site of America's premier twins festival and invited participants to be photographed. Using a twenty-by-twenty-four-inch Polaroid camera, Mark created an extraordinary body of work-a collection of sometimes beautiful, often unsettling images-that reveals subtle nuances in the relationships of the twins she observed. Gorgeously printed in tritone, the book replicates the stellar quality of her large-format photographs in a fitting tribute to one of America's preeminent photographers.
Mary Ellen Mark's photographs have appeared in Life, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Us, and The Sunday Times Magazine of London.
Documentarian Mark captured the late Mother Teresa working among the starving sick of Calcutta, and her portraits of Central American factory workers and the underclasses of Appalachia and U.S. inner cities have combined empathy and insight. Now Mark goes all Diane Arbus on us in her new book of twins shot in 20 x 24 black and white Polaroid format, stunningly reproduced. Shot during 2001 and 2002 "Twins Days" festivals in Twinsburg, Ohio, site of the annual U.S. convention for twins (and triplets), subjects were pursued and herded into a darkened tent built to Mark's specifications by a large crew. The book begins with a pair of young girls in what looks to be the bygone costumes of the Gish sisters in D.W. Griffith's Broken Blossoms, and the air of the antique and the unsettling rarely lets up. One elderly man stands before the camera holding a photograph of his late twin brother. A father in cop uniform drags a wagon built up into jail bars to carry his twin daughters, dressed in cute jailbird costumes. The same dad in Hawaiian tourist garb exhibits the same girls the following year as hula maidens in leis and grass skirts. Mark's tent-show approach inevitably leads to questions of exploitation and voyeurism. She attempts to let her subjects have their own voice, printing brief excerpts from a thousand pages of transcribed interviews. This section disappoints, as we learn little about the individual twins other than that some of them share private languages and others like to use their twinness for pranks (we learn that the 27-year-old men she photographed in matching boxer shorts like to trick girls into having sex with both). Mark, queen of female photographers, has a steady following, and this new project deepens her legend in disturbing ways. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A prominent documentary and portrait photographer, Mark was recently voted one of the most influential women photographers in the history of photography by American Photo magazine. Over the past three decades, her photographs have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, the New York Times Magazine, and Vogue, and she has won numerous awards. This latest selection of her work features 80 formal tritone portraits of twins made during a series of trips to the annual "Twins Days" Festival in Twinsburg, OH. Mark used a 20" x 24" Polaroid to make these exceedingly sharp images, capturing minute subtleties in her subjects. The 80 images are followed by excerpts from Mark's telephone interviews, revealing fascinating snippets from the lives of these twins. Twins, which follows the more comprehensive Mary Ellen Mark: American Odyssey, accompanies a gallery show in New York City this fall. Recommended for all libraries with photography collections.-D'Arcy Curwen, San Bernardino, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.