Morrisroe, Mark, 1959-1989
Boston school, c1995: t.p. (Mark Morrisroe; 1959-1989) p. 185 (b. Jan. 10, 1959, Malden, Mass.; d. July 24, 1989, New York City; artist)
Mark Morrisroe 1959 - 1989
Biography BIRTH:  He was born in 1959 in Boston, MA. His mother was a drug-addicted prostitute.
CAREERS & POSITIONS:  He was a photographer. He carried a Polaroid camera with him at all times.
RELATIONSHIPS:  His was friends with photographers Nan Goldin, David Armstrong, Jack Pierson, and Philip Lorca diCorcia.
QUOTES:  "Sometimes I think Id rather be a movie star than an artist."
DEATH: He died in 1989 from AIDS in New York, NY.
Works by Mark Morrisroe
NONFICTION "Mark Morrisroe w/Klaus Ottmann" (1999) Book
Artistic photography.
Works about Mark Morrisroe
Emotions & Relations; Nan Goldin, David Armstrong, Mark Morrisroe, Jack Pierson, Philip-Lorca Dicorcia edited by F. C. Gundlach (1998) Book -- Collects the work of five relatively established photographers who first came to know each other while in art school and the 1970s and have since sometimes been grouped as the "Boston School."
The Knitting Circle: Photography
Biography, work, bibliography, press cuttings.
Mark Morrisroe, Born 1959, in Boston, USA; died 1989. US photographer.
His mother was a drug-addicted prostitute. He left home at the age of 13 and began hustling. One of his disgruntled contacts shot him and he carried a bullet in his chest for the rest of his life. He won a place at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but he was disruptive as his lifestyle involved drugs, cross-dressing, and exhibitionism. His friends were the photographers Nan Goldin, David Armstrong, Jack Pierson, and Philip Lorca diCorcia. Most of his photographs were self-portraits and formed a visual diary of his life. He assumed various identities including Mark Dirt, fanzine editor, and Sweet Raspberry, a maudlin drag queen down on her luck. He contracted HIV and towards the end of his life he spent so much time in hospital he set up a dark room in the ward shower. When he died 2000 Polaroids were found along with Super-8 films.

Mark Morrisroe, 1999, published by Twin Palms Publishers, 220 pages, ISBN 0944092624 (hardback).
Mark Morrisroe, 2000, a monograph of his work published by Twelvetrees Press.

Ramsay McPhillips, (2000), "Am I Dead Yet?".

Press cuttings
"Indecent exposure" by Robin Muir in The Independent magazine, 11th. December, 1999, pages 33-36. "When Mark Morrisroe's short life ended in 1989, there were only a few tributes to him, mostly from friends and contemporaries from art college such as Nan Goldin. Few were surprised that Morrisoe didn't live long enough to see his success. For although he shone bright, Morrisroe's life was, in the end, messy and anarchic."
Mark Morrisroe (1959-1989) 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 Poloroid 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. This monograph is a recounting of what remains in the artist's works and words.

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
It kills me to look at my old 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 Morrisroe
The Biography

He is born in Malden, MA, USA, in 1959 and he died of aids in New York City in 1989. With another four photographers, he belongs to the "Boston School". He started to exhibit since 1985 in different cities of his country, as New York or San Francisco. A retrosprective of his whole work was presented in 1997 in Berlin. In 1998, the "Boston School" members shown their photographs in Hamburg in an exhibition called "Emotions & Relations".
One of my favorite photo discoveries comes from a young, male artist who worked in New York in the 80's, whose tragically brief artistic career ended with his death of AIDS related complications at the age of 30. Mark Morrisroe's work is erotically charged drawing from his life as a gay man and a male prostitute. He photographed himself, friends and lovers in dark, grainy, distressed color, integrating Super 8 stills and black and white Polaroids. His work is decadent and his subject matter inseparable from his life. His work is technically experimental and takes on a sketchbook quality which includes titles and comments scrawled on the edges of his images. Morrisroe recorded the lush beauty and eroticism of his own personal documentary and his work is some of the most achingly sensual and intimate I've seen. He shot haunting self portraits up until his premature death at which time his last words were, "Turn Oprah off: I don't want her to see this."