vogue nippon
Mary Ellen Mark
By Ikuku Dobashi
Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark

Why did you choose this piece of jewelry?
I chose this piece of jewelry because it is unique, beautifully crafted and simply perfect.

Do you have certain memories that go with this piece of jewelry? If so, can you share some of them.
I bought this tiger's claw pendant in India many years ago from a dealer who specializes in folk art. All of his pieces are exquisite and unusual. I've worn this for years. Every time I go back to India, I have it restrung.

What is the significance of jewelry to you?
The significance of this piece to me is that it is a beautifully crafted antique and it reminds me of India, a country that I love.

What was your original concept for this shot?
I didn't want to take a serious fashion picture. I wanted the photograph to have a sense of humor or irony, but I knew I had to show the jewelry.

If you were to title this photograph what would the title be?
"Louie wearing my tiger's claw necklace for good luck. Photographed with the 20x24 Polaroid. New York 2007”

Were you listening to music while shooting this photograph?
I never listen to music when I work. It distracts me. I like the natural sounds around me. In the railroad station there was the constant noise of whistles and trains. When I photographed Louie there was the constant noise of his barks and whines.

Mary Ellen Mark/ "Louie wearing my tiger's claw necklace for good luck"