Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Frank Mullen (1961-2009)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 1:30 PM

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With an eye for capturing the little moments and the big personalities, photographer Frank Mullen became synonymous with Atlanta’s music scene.

Stickers of his color-saturated photos of Athens duo Jucifer dotted nearly every surface of Little Five Points during the release blitz of the band’s 1999 debut, Calling All Cars on the Vegas Strip. His promo shots of indie songstress Shannon Wright and such hip-hop superstars as Big Boi and Ludacris still haunt with his use of stark colors, shadows and natural distortion. At concerts, he quickly earned a reputation as the man in the photo pit who could do no wrong.

Unsurprisingly, he went about his final days as though nothing were wrong. But on the evening of May 9, he died after a quiet, 19-month-long battle with cancer. Diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, doctors didn’t know where the cancer started in his body. Few even knew that Mullen was sick. The stocking cap that he wore on his head to conceal his hair loss from chemotherapy treatments hadn’t seemed out of place. Even in his prime, he’d concealed his lanky frame under oversized T-shirts and cargo shorts.

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(Photo by Jim Stawniak)

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