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[ A black and white photograph of a young boy dressed in a cowboy hat, black button-down shirt with white fringe, dark jeans with a large metal belt buckle and cowboy boots. The boy, standing outside against a backdrop of greenery and telephone poles, is swinging a lasso around his body and looking at the camera. ]

Mary Ellen Mark

Boy with Lasso, Texas 7/1991 , 1991

Artwork Type: Photographs
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: 11 x 14 in. (27.94 x 35.56 cm)
Accession #: 19971249A
Credit: Collection of University Art Museum, University at Albany, State University of New York on behalf of University at Albany Foundation , Gift of Marvin and Carol Brown
Related Exhibitions:
Double Play
Regarding Place: Photographs From The University Art Collections
American Playlist: Selections From The University At Albany Art Collections
Affinities and Outliers: Highlights from the University at Albany Fine Art Collections
Object Label:
Mary Ellen Mark (1940–2015, American) documented marginalized people and communities for over four decades. Primarily working in black- and-white photography, Mark is one of the best-known photojournalists who humanized a less familiar America and turned her lens to other parts of the world. Her powerful, contextual images insist on a specific place and environment that shapes one’s identity. Many of her best-known photographs, such as those included in Affinities and Outliers, reflect a provocative style that captures her subject’s story in a single frame.
Affinities and Outliers: Highlights from the University at Albany Fine Art Collections

American Playlist: Selections From The University At Albany Art Collections

American, born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1940

 

Mary Ellen Mark is a renowned photojournalist whose black and white photographs have captured the extremes of life around the world for over four decades. Her search for subjects has taken her across America and to the streets of Calcutta. With candid intimacy, she photographs her subjects in their environments, creating powerful contextual images that reflect the impact of place in the shaping of personal identity.

 

Mark has published sixteen books and exhibited worldwide. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


Regarding Place: Photographs From The University Art Collections
Boy with Lasso comes out of Mary Ellen Mark’s deep exploration of 
America from the perspective of the unfamiliar. Mark took photographs of 
“children, transvestites, bikers, the elderly, Coney Island, hot tubs, beauty 
contests, the fat, the skinny, prostitutes, church people, the insane and the 
imprisoned, Ku Klux Klan members, demonstrators, parades, marathon 
dancers, the up and the down, the unknown,” wrote Grace Glueck in a 
review of her work in the New York Times. These subjects usually seem 
foreign at first to the vast majority of viewers, but Mark breathes life into 
them and asks the viewer to try to understand their lives. The boy, his 
lasso, and the rodeo he is taking part in are aspects of life tucked away 
in Texas, but symbolize something greater by evoking masculinity, youth, 
violence, patriotism, and history that all Americans can relate to. Although 
on the edge of mainstream society, this boy is actually within the greater 
culture of America.
Double Play

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