"Scot Sothern has taken his camera into a world that only a microscopic fraction of the human population knows exists. Sothern is not a mere voyeur, he wades deeply into zones most never will and renders his subjects with dignity and compassion. Lowlife is a moving and compelling piece of work." --Henry Rollins
drkrm presents A NEW LOW, a gritty, full color photographic journey though the motels and back alleys of street prostitution. A NEW LOW will be on display August 3rd through August 31st with an opening reception Saturday, August 3rd starting at 7pm. During the opening Mr. Sothern will be signing copies of his newly released memoir CURB SERVICE, published by Soft Skull Press. Dan Fante calls Scot Sothern’s CURB SERVICE “...the real thing. This is damn good writing.”
Photographer Scot Sothern first patronized the marketplace of curbside prostitution in the late 1980’s. While there, trusty Nikon in hand, Sothern snapped what he saw: full-frontal X-rated realities, fine-art documents, black and white, pathos and pizzazz. Two decades later his photographs have found a degree of recognition and his work has since been exhibited world-wide, including shows in London, Los Angeles, and Ottawa. LOWLIFE, a collection of his photographs was published in the UK in 2011. The British Journal of Photography called it "The years's most controversial photobook." The flagrant brashness and sheer effrontery of Scot Sothern's LOWLIFE is authentic and sobering. In the face of unsalvageable hope, Sothern's photographs expose the angst of humanity in all its glorious, gloomy wretchedness. He wanders through these stunningly bleak tableaus like some despondent prophet. And inside of it all we see our mothers, lovers, sisters, daughters. One simply cannot view these images and walk away unaffected.
A NEW LOW is a continuation if not sequel to this earler work. Began in 2012, A NEW LOW is a series of explicit color portraits, both harsh and intelligent. Shot exclusively in Los Angeles, Sothern’s strobe penetrates the shadows to reveal an America where life is a tragic accident and nobody cares. “I'm exploiting the bottom of the victim pile.” Sothern explains, “But I try to ease their desperation if I can. I give them money for drugs and I tell them they're beautiful. Whores are not whores for fun, people don’t live on the sidewalk for the adventure, the pleasure a drug addict gets from a hit of dope is null and void, the thrill is gone. Look at these pictures, this is what people do to make it to tomorrow.”
Scot Sothern spent forty unsettled years hustling freelance photography. He made portraits in department stores, churches, and door-to-door suburbia. He shot model's portfolios, head-shots, and nude magazine layouts along with editorial, product, and agency work throughout the US and abroad. Forced into commercial retirement by the crippling byproduct of a motorcycle mishap, he continues to photograph and writes a featured column, Nocturnal Submissions for VICE magazine. While LOWLIFE puts Sothern in the top rank of documentary photographers, he has also produced a large body of impressive portrait and drive-by photography, which marks him out as an artist with a compelling, epoch defining vision.
drkrm is an exhibition space dedicated to the display of popular cultural images, fine art photography, documentary and photo journalism, cutting edge and alternative photographic processes. drkrm is located in the historic Chung King Road of contemporary art galleries in Downtown L.A.'s Chinatown.
All gallery events are free and open to the public.