NEW YORK, NY.-
Conceived and edited by film director Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark's husband and collaborator for 30 years, The Book of Everything
celebrates in over 600 images and diverse texts Marks extraordinary life, work and vision. From 1963 to her death in 2015, Mark told brilliant, intimate, provocative stories of characters whom she met and engaged withoften in perpetuity. There was nothing casual or unprepared about Marks approach; she unfailingly empathized with the people and places she photographed.
For this comprehensive book Bell has selected images from Marks thousands of contact-sheets and chromesfrom over two million frames in total. These include her own now iconic choices, those published once and since lost in time, as well as some of her as yet unpublished preferences. Bell complements these with a few selections of his own. Along with Marks pictures made in compelling, often tragic circumstances, The Book of Everything includes recollections from friends, colleagues and many of those she photographed. Marks own thoughts reveal doubts and insecurities, her ideas about the individuals and topics she depicted, as well as the challenges of the business of photography.
"I didnt have the happiest home life or childhood, so I think that gave me a feeling of justice and passion for people that dont have all the breaks. I think it was important to me to be free and wander the world and not have a family. I dont have kids.
I think if you dont come from a happy home, maybe you dont want to tie yourself down. I always wanted to be completely free. Even from the time that I was like eight years, seven years old, I remember walking home from grade school thinking, When am I going to get out of here? Ive got to be free. So the freedom was always a major thought for me, a major plan." MARY ELLEN MARK INTERVIEW FOR KOBRA SVT (SWEDISH NATIONAL TELEVISION), 2010
The images of Mary Ellen Mark (19402015) are icons of documentary photography. Her 20 books include Ward 81 (1979), Falkland Road (1981) and Indian Circus (1993). Her last book Tiny: Streetwise Revisited (2015) is a culmination of 32 years documenting Erin Blackwell (Tiny), who was featured in Martin Bells 1985 film Streetwise and Marks 1988 book of the same name. Marks humanistic work has been exhibited and published in magazines worldwide.