“This woman is already dead so I photograph her ghost,” Scot Sothern writes. This is one of the pretty ones. The derelict, addled bodies of the others with their cavernous flesh glimmering against hotel walls and alleys, sloshing their breasts and flashing mangled genitals… That makes for a great photography exhibit. It comes with anecdotes.
“She is one of the many; here in sunny Hollywood, California, murdered by life without the slimmest of a chance. I give her fifteen dollars even though she only asks for ten. The extra five includes my last dollar. That’s my donation. I’m down among the lepers and I just gave away my last dollar. I’m a fucking saint. I’m the patron saint of whores.”
Henry Rollins seems to think this sort of voyeurism is being done “with dignity and compassion” but let’s be frank. It’s a little exploitative. Doesn’t make it less great. These are classic, like E.J. Bellocq, but set in Southern California circa 1986-1990. Check these street walker tales of “full-frontal X-rated realities, fine-art documents, black and white, pathos and pizzazz” at “Lowlife,” Photographs and Literary Vignettes by Scot Sothern, Nov 5 – Dec 3, DRKRM Gallery, NYC