Tiny: Streetwise Revisited
September 15 – November 3, 2016
The Seattle Public Library
1000 Fourth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104
In 1983, Mary Ellen Mark began a project called Streetwise. Five years later, it became a poignant document of a fiercely independent group of homeless and troubled youth who made their way on the streets of Seattle as pimps, prostitutes, panhandlers, and small-time drug dealers. Streetwise introduced several unforgettable children, including Tiny (her street name; her given name is Erin), who dreamed of a horse farm, diamonds and furs, and a baby of her own. Since meeting Tiny thirty years ago, Mark continued to photograph her, creating what became one of Mark’s most significant and long-term projects. Tiny: Streetwise Revisited incorporates the most powerful images from Streetwise, taking us from thirteen-year-old Tiny to the middle-aged mom of ten we meet today. Exhibition texts and captions are drawn from conversations between Tiny and Mary Ellen Mark, as well as with Mark’s husband, filmmaker Martin Bell, who made the landmark film Streetwise, also included in the exhibition.
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 that developed between artist and subject over thirty years.
The selection of prints for the exhibition was made by Mary Ellen Mark in conjunction with Aperture editor Melissa Harris before Mark’s death on May 25, 2015.
Special thanks to Chuck Kelton for making the exhibition prints, and to ILFORD, for graciously donating the ILFORD MULTIGRADE FB CLASSIC Gloss paper.