From the series "Tiny 90"
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1940 - 2015, New York, New York)
1990 (printed 2004)
Selenium toned gelatin silver print
8 3/4 x 13 in. (22.4 x 33.0 cm)
Collection of the Akron Art Museum
Knight Purchase Fund for Photographic Media
In 1983, Mary Ellen Mark was sent by LIFE magazine to photograph street kids in Seattle. There, she met thirteen-year-old prostitute Erin “Tiny” Blackwell. Tiny became one of the central subjects not only of Mark’s photographs, but also of the documentary film Streetwise which followed in 1984. Mark has unflinchingly documented Tiny’s life for nearly three decades, illustrating her struggles with poverty, substance abuse, and abusive partners and family, but also capturing moments of joy and intimacy. “I've always wanted a baby because it was, like, something that was mine, that I can say was mine, and love, and do things for.” -Tiny (from the 2004 documentary film Erin, by Martin Bell)