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Mark, Mary Ellen. FALKLAND ROAD: PROSTITUTES OF BOMBAY. Gottingen, Germany: Gerhard Steidl Druckerei Und Verlag, 2005. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 124 pages. As New/As New.

New and Expanded Edition of the photographer's third collection. Limited Edition of 1500 copies. Long considered a late-modern photography classic, Mary Ellen Mark's second masterpiece and one of her most influential works has been rare for a long time. The New Edition is vastly superior in terms of production values to the original. A stupendous production by Mary Ellen Mark and Diana Hass: Oversize-volume format in wide oblong shape. Deep-blue linen cloth boards with metallic-silver titles embossed on spine, as issued. Photographs and text by Mary Ellen Mark. Printed on thick coated stock paper in Gottingen, Germany to absolutely the highest standards. In pictorial DJ, with a portrait of "Putla" on the cover, and titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Published on the occasion of three new retrospective exhibitions held in 2006 at the Marianne Boesky Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery New York and Fahey/Klein Gallery Los Angeles. The former offered new Cibachrome prints of the collection while the latter had new dye-transfer prints. Presents the unflinching photographs Mary Ellen Mark took between October 1978 and January 1979 of Falkland Road in Bombay, in the size as well as warm, rich yet grittily arresting color quality she sought. Many of the photographs' small details and fine nuances were lost in the original edition, which was unquestionably ground-breaking, but could have been printed better. Falkland Road is a microcosm of India, without the pomp and circumstance, without The Rich and Powerful, the real India. Mary Ellen Mark's identification with her subjects is absolute, heartfelt, and unconditional. These are the only Indians she cared to know and it took her ten years of nearly annual visits to earn their trust before they finally permitted her to take pictures. The prostitutes are women as young as thirteen as well as stunningly beautiful "transvestites" (since they all have full-grown breasts, they would be called "transgendereds" today). Sleeping with another man, who looks like, feels, and thinks he is a woman, has an enormous erotic allure to Indian men. To Mark's credit, she simply records the fact and does not go into pseudo-analysis of what is essentially a cultural reality. Many of them did not choose to become prostitutes: They were sold off by their parents or forced into prostitution by abject poverty. They could also have left, escaped or gone back to the rural village they called home. So why remain a prostitute? "Given the choice, I would rather have stayed in my village. But if I stayed there, I would never have known what I missed" is the complex and eloquent answer one of them gives. When the time came for Mary Ellen Mark to say goodbye, she began to cry. "You shouldn't weep. You should say goodbye with your head up and proud and then leave. You'd better not forget me" is the admonition she gets. A heartbreakingly beautiful book, in a new, "must-have" edition for Mary Ellen Mark collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black marker on the title page by Mary Ellen Mark. This title sold out shortly after publication and is now highly collectible. This is one of extremely few signed copies of the Revised and Expanded Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. Copies of the 1981 First Edition command between $500 and 1000 depending on condition. This is a very attractive and accessible alternative. A rare signed copy thus. 65 color plates. Voted by American Photo Magazine as the most important and most influential female photographer of all time. One of the finest living photographers. A flawless collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MARY ELLEN MARK TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 3865211283. $300.00

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