WEST PALM BEACH, FL (Nov. 19, 2015) – The Norton Museum of Art is proud to be the world- premiere venue of the exhibition, Tiny: Streetwise Revisited – Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark, the photographer’s final long-term project. Mark passed away in May at age 75. The exhibition, on view Dec. 10, 2015 through March 20, 2016, and organized by Aperture Foundation, New York, features about 60 images, many of which have never before been publicly displayed. Documentary photographer Debbie Fleming Caffrey, a contemporary of Mark’s, will provide insight into the exhibition at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 10.
In 1983, Mark began a project called Streetwise that would become a poignant document of a fiercely independent group of homeless and troubled Seattle youth who made their way on the streets as pimps, prostitutes, panhandlers, and small-time drug dealers. Streetwise received critical acclaim for its honest, unvarnished portrayal of life on the streets and introduced the public to characters not easily forgotten, including, “Tiny,” a 13-year-old prostitute with dreams of a horse farm, diamonds and furs, and a baby of her own.
After meeting Tiny all those years ago, Mark continued to photograph her, creating what has become one of Mark’s most significant, and ultimately her last, long-term project. Now 45, Tiny’s life has unfolded in unexpected ways, including the fact that she is the mother of 10 children.
Tiny: Streetwise Revisited is a rare examination of intergenerational poverty, radiating out to issues of homelessness, education, healthcare, addiction, mental health, and child welfare. Mark’s images provide powerful insight into some of the more complex challenges of contemporary American life, yet also reveal the unique 30-year relationship between an artist and her subject.
Aperture recently released a significantly expanded iteration of Mark’s classic monograph Tiny: Streetwise Revisited which was completed before Mark’s death on May 25, 2015. Tiny: Streetwise Revisited contains the iconic work of the first edition along with Mark’s moving and intimate body of work on Tiny, most of which is previously unpublished. Texts and captions are drawn from conversations between Tiny and Mary Ellen Mark, as well as with Mark’s husband, the filmmaker Martin Bell, who made the landmark film, Streetwise. Tiny: Streetwise Revisited provides a powerful education about one of the more complex sides of American life, as well as insight into the unique relationship sustained between artist and subject for more than 30 years.