marianne boesky gallery

MARY ELLEN MARK: TWINS

October 10 – November 8, 2003
CHELSEA | 535 West 22nd Street

Kennedy Boesky Photographs and Marianne Boesky Gallery are pleased to announce an exhibition of new photographs by Mary Ellen Mark. The exhibition will open on October 10, 2003 and will continue through November 8, 2003.

This show will present a selection of unique Polaroid photographs from Mary Ellen Mark's new body of work, entitled Twins. Mark first conceived of the Twins project in August 1998, upon her initial visit to the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, where several thousand sets of twins from around the country gather annually. With the decision to produce a book on twins, Mark returned to Ohio in August 2000, and again in August 2002, where she set up a studio and invited siblings to be photographed.

Mark has traveled extensively for almost three decades, creating photographs that exhibit a high degree of humanism for every subject she approaches. She has offered her perspective on such societal concerns as homelessness, drug addiction, mental illness and teenage pregnancy. Always attempting to capture individuals engaged in their own environments, Mark presents the subjects of Twins in the comfort of their own community, as afforded by the festival.

With the exceptional clarity and fine detail available by the use of a 20 x 24 Polaroid camera, these powerful portraits capture twins of all ages who make the trek to the festival from around the United States. Mark examines the subtle differences in appearance and relationship known only to twins and imbues her subject with icon-like authority.

A video work produced and directed by Mark's husband, filmmaker Martin Bell, will be shown in junction with the exhibition. Bell has directed the Academy Award-nominated film, Streetwise (1984), as well as the motion picture, American Heart (1992). This companion video to Twins has been accepted to the New York Film Festival, and presents a collection of interviews with various sets of the photographed twins.

Mary Ellen Mark has recently been voted the most influential woman photographer of all time by the readers of American Photo. Her celebrated photographs, a blend of social documentary photography and photojournalism, have appeared in such prominent publications as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Vogue and Life. Among her fourteen books include such works as, Passport (Lustrum Press, 1974), Ward 81 (Simon & Schuster, 1979), Falkland Road: Prostitutes of Bombay (Knopf, 1981), Streetwise (second printing, Aperture, 1992), Mary Ellen Mark: American Odyssey (Aperture, 1999) and Mary Ellen Mark 55 (Phaidon, 2001). Mark has received such honors as the Infinity Award for Journalism, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Matrix Award as the outstanding woman in the field of film/photography, the Dr. Erich Salomon Award for outstanding merits in the field of journalistic photography and three National Endowments for the Arts Grants. She was also presented with honorary Doctor of Fine Art degrees from her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of the Arts.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, October 10 from 6-8 pm.

Book to accompany exhibition: Twins, by Mary Ellen Mark, published by Aperture on September 29, 2003 (80 tritone images, 10 ½ x 13 inches, 96 pages, Hardcover ISBN: 1-931788-19-7, $50). An artist book signing will take place on Saturday, October 18, from 2-5 pm.

For visuals or further information, please contact Annie Rana, at annie@kennedyboeskyphotographs.com. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am- 6pm.