Mark Morrisroe is quite the legend, however, I find it surprising how people actually don't know about him. He is easily one of my favorite photographers and unfortunately died very young.
"Mark Morrisroe carried a bullet in his chest and a Polaroid camera with him at all times (the former fired from the gun of a disgruntled john, the latter a gift from the Polaroid Corporation, which included a lifetime supply of film). His life was cut short, but the photographs he took remain-lush, anguished, and comedic depictions of a life consumed by ambition and disaster"
"It kills me to look at photographs of myself and my friends. We were such beautiful, sexy kids but we always felt bad because we thought we were ugly at the time. It was because we were such outcasts in high school and so unpopular. We believed what other people said. If any one of us could have seen how attractive we really were we might have made something better of our lives. I'm the only guy that I know who wanted to runaway to be a prostitute."
"Mark was an outlaw on every front—sexually, socially, and artistically. He was marked by his dramatic and violent adolescence as a teenage prostitute with a deep distrust and a fierce sense of his uniqueness. I met him in Art School in 1977; he left shit in my mailbox as a gesture of friendship. Limping wildly down the halls in his torn t-shirts, calling himself Mark Dirt, he was Boston's first punk. He developed into a photographer with a completely distinctive artistic vision and signature. Both his pictures of his lovers, close friends, and objects of desire, and his touching still-lifes of rooms, dead flowers, and dream images stand as timeless fragments of his life, resonating with sexual longing, loneliness, and loss."
--Nan Goldin, 1993
Mark Morrisroe was good friends with Nan Goldin, Jack Pierson, David Armstrong and that kind of crowd- together they formed a group that today we call The Boston School. His work stood out from the rest because of the beauty and delicacy with which he approached his rough life style and other subjects. Almost careless with his processes and handling of his work, yet his compositions were still flawless and this contrast really caught my eye when I first saw it.
Unfortunately, after many years of prostitution and drugs, and AIDS he passed away due to HIV in 1985 at the age of 30. Due to his early death, there isn't so much of his work around and it is rarely exhibited. I've been lucky enough to work at Clampart and handle lots of his prints, which are gorgeous in person. If you don't know of his work, you probably should. And his recently published book by Twin Palms is my favorite book in my collection.