Scot Sothern, the Johnny with a camera opens his first New York solo exhibition this January 8th at Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery. Exhibiting work from his series Lowlife, the show of the same name presents 25 small-scale black and white photographs of prostitutes in and around Los Angeles from 1985 – 1991. The exhibited prints are the only set of vintage prints in existence and were made whilst shooting the series.
Approaching his subjects as both a photographer and a customer, Sothern’s document offers a gritty, raw, brutal and honest scope of Americans in the sex trade. Forcing the viewer to become voyeur, Sothern serves up a theatre of sex and drugs, of sweaty flesh lit by flash bulb or fluorescent light in the stifling LA heat.
“This body of work exists as a record of curbside prostitution in Los Angeles in the late 80’s. Sothern remembers, “Anyone could offer them $10 bucks to take a brick in the face and they’d hold out their palm”. The images offer the viewer a potent look at disenfranchised Americans, usually existing under the radar and out of touch. Through Sothern we have a view into an authentic underground world where human life is expendable and for sale “at the price of a Big Mac and a fix”. The portraits are timeless, intelligent and revealing of the subject, the photographer and of society at large”.
Lowlife 1985 – 1991 runs from January the 8th – February the 28th 2015 at Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery. For more info visit their site.