PORTRAITS (Motta Photography)

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9781560987208: PORTRAITS (Motta Photography)
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Mary Ellen Mark here pairs images of the world's homeless and alienated with portraits of world-famous actors, musicians, writers, and other celebrities. The differences are palpable. Studiously posed yet comfortable with the camera, icons such as Jodie Foster, John Irving, Lillian Gish, Johnny Depp, and Francois Truffaut fill each frame with an invulnerable gaze. In contrast, impoverished children in Ireland, Texas, or James Bay, Canada, seem unreachable both in their social and geographic removal and in their alarming calm.
Despite vastly different lives, subtle correspondences of mood and theme emerge in the paired images: Boy George self-consciously folds his hands in prayer, a gesture echoed on the previous page by a sincerely reverent Indian girl standing in the Ganges. A homeless Irish boy seems as proud in his solitude as Kevin Costner in the persona of Wyatt Earp. Whether of stars posing as outcasts or a Vietnamese circus performer assuming the imperious posture of a star, the photographs of Mary Ellen Mark resonate singly, in pairs, and as a sequence, haunting viewers with their depictions of lives far removed from everyday existence.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian

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