Vali by Mary Ellen Mark

Vali Myers by Mary Ellen Mark

I have always been fascinated by this photograph of Vali. It was taken by one of my favourite photographers, Mary Ellen Mark when Mary was very young and on her first photography scholarship in Italy. I am not exactly sure of the year but it would have been around 1964. Vali told me that Mary had seen her around Positano and kept asking to take Vali's photo. Finally Vali consented and invited her up to 'Il Porto' her animal sanctuary in the wild valley where Mary took many photographs. When Mary got the roll of film back to America, she was in the middle of processing when someone came into the dark room and turned on the light. All of the photographs were ruined, disappeared - all except this one. Vali smiled when she told me this story...capturing the mysterious is never easy.