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Tiny at thirty on the couch, smoking with Ray Shon, her baby, Seattle

Mary Ellen Mark

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia, 1940 - 2015, New York, New York)

1999 (printed 2004)

Selenium toned gelatin silver print

10 5/16 in. x 10 1/8 in. (26.19 cm x 25.72 cm)

Knight Purchase Fund for Photographic Media

2004.39

More Information

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. Mary Ellen Mark has kept in touch with Tiny over the years, and continues to document her life and the lives of her children.

Keywords
American
Baby
Black and White
Cigarette
Contemporary Art
Couches
Documentary
Living room
Mother
Photography
Poverty
Social Class