American Photo
See it Now
November 1999
By Kathleen Seiler
Photograph by Mary Ellen Mark

Clockwise from top left: Mary Ellen Marks new book; (not pictured here:) "Eileen Collins, at Johnson Space Center," by Annie Leibovitz; "Untitled," 1990, by Cindy Sherman, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; "Paris Canyon‑Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness," by Jack Dykinga.

For her new book, Mary Ellen Mark (Aperture, $50), the photographer collected 150 of her photos taken throughout America. You'll want to laugh at the outrageousness of crossdressers and cry at the intensity of troubled children ....

Mary Ellen Mark, photographer “Alicante, Spain, 1933," by Henri Cartier‑Bresson  "When I started photographing in the early '60s, Cartier‑Bresson's images were the first I became familiar with. There are so many that are great, it's hard to pick one. But I own this picture - I bought the print and I just love it. It is strange and graphically beautiful. It has an oddness to it, as well as whimsy. There's something about it that's mysterious and maybe tragic, but maybe not. It's an enigma. A picture that you look at and wonder. I like pictures that go beyond the subject matter, that make you think of other things than what you're looking at. This one evokes so many kinds of emotion."