9781606061084

Prom by Mary Ellen Mark

$50.00
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From 2006 to 2009, acclaimed documentary photographer Mark (Exposure) visited 13 high schools around the country on prom night, pulling couples from the dance floor to pose before a massive (and rare) 20×24 Polaroid Land Camera in their formal best: white suits and silk sheaths; ruffles, beads, and backless gowns; capes and feathers and corkscrew ringlets; big smiles, serious stares, friendly hugs, and loving embraces. Most of the portraits are of couples; indeed, one of the great joys of this monograph is observing the many different ways that Mark’s subjects relate to each other. At the same time, a solo portrait of a cancer patient radiant in her gown, naked scalp, and painted eyebrows proves an especially striking image. With more than 120 exquisitely detailed b&w photographs depicting teenagers of all shapes, sizes, colors, styles, and attitudes, the book offers a sense of the infinite variation that is America, and includes a DVD of Prom, a documentary by Mark’s husband, Martin Bell, culled from interviews conducted with Mark’s subjects during the shoot. That footage, along with the excerpted quotes accompanying the photographs, conveys the myriad emotions associated with high school’s last dance: ruminations on the past, hopes for the future, thoughts of fashion, family, love, and ambition. Mark’s project is a remarkable record of young people on the brink of change.

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