26 January 2009

Erin 'Tiny' Blackwell

When I was younger I had a postcard of this Mary Ellen Mark image on my wall. This was kind of in the early days of the internet so it wasn't as easy to find out everything you wanted to know about an artist. I always sort of thought it was a glamorous image. It wasn't until Carlen Altman turned me on to Streetwise the 1984 documentary on teen runaways that I realized that the subject of the photograph Erin 'Tiny' Blackwell was a young prostitute.

You can watch Streetwise in parts on Youtube: here. These photos are from the book by the same name: Streetwise, Aperture.

She got to go to the Oscars when the movie was nominated.Mary Ellen Mark went on to photograph Tiny consistently every couple of years. Apparently she had a rough life. The most recent information I could find about her was this article: "Tiny Has Nine Children" from 2006.


thehistoryofmyfuture said...

wow. i love mary ellen mark.

i've always been intrigued by those types of photos taken over a period of time. Like those ones of the Brown Sisters you posted awhile back, in addition to Michael Apted's Up Series.

even if the progression of the lives can be somewhat heartbreaking. it's kind of like seeing part of a movie after it ends.

michaeldavidge said...

Thank you for posting. this life is unfair. but we handle it. we love you erin.

conheartist said...

In the 2008 photo issue of Vice Magazine, there is an interview with Mark and she said that Tiny has been married and also has ten children, five of which were with her husband. This is the only current news I have on Tiny. I hope someone finds this useful.

LoLo said...

If you go to Martin Bells sight he has clips from a film he did called Erin which shows her children, mother etc. There is 4 different clips. One shows her son as a toddler then as an older teen talking about being locked up. I can't find the film to view or buy anywhere. She has 10 kids now.

Anonymous said...

Its crazy erin is my friends mom , never new her story till her son told me to look at it

Anonymous said...

As of right now she stays in auburn wa with 7 of her kid an with her ex boyfriend she is moving soon cause her an her boyfriend been broken up for a few years now they just been living together cause of the kids but she has some pretty kids love them kid to death .

Anonymous said...

Boyfriend? She's married to the father of her last 5 children.