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Photographs and Literary Vignettes
by Scot Sothern

November 5- December 3, 2011

Opening Reception and Book Signing
Saturday, November 5, 7-10 pm

drkrm presents Lowlife, a gritty, black and white photographic journey though the motels and back alleys of street prostitution. Lowlife will be on display November 5th through December 3rd with an opening reception and a book signing Saturday November 5th starting at 7pm.

"This work is graphic and immediately raw. It is cynical and dangerous and says so much in such condensed landscape. Sothern immersed headfirst into this sliver of the population unlike most people could never imagine, as a patron, and made photographs with a level of exclusive access that is bold and a little hard to comprehend. The stories behind each image presented weaves in a tremendous amount of texture and background. The tales oozed so much power to the imagery." --Kathy M.Y. Pyon, LA Times

"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

"Scot Sothern's photographs of dark rooms, contorted faces and abused but undefeated bodies reveal the hypocrisy of a society that simultaneously fears and revels in cheap, bought sex in which both sellers and the buyers are victims of desperate but distinct needs. His pictures tell us something about the people who appear in the them, and teach us difficult truths about the animal condition in which all of us must survive." --John Sevigny

"Lowlife is brutal stuff. A vicious slice of the American pie. A camera lucida of la bas, as the French say. It doesn't get much further down and straight to the being than this. A cautionary series of tales that's seguro." --Barry Gifford

Photographer Scot Sothern first patronized the marketplace of curbside prostitution on a prurient whim. He dove to the murky depths of sexual obsession, and five years later resurfaced-- shell shocked and without excuse. 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. A mix of yins and yangs, prurient and sad, funny and gut-wrenching.

Lowlife is an illustrated memoir of dysfunction, a confession of a befuddled white guy maintaining a precarious connection to propriety and fatherhood while side-tripping into noirish infatuations. Sothern's images, shot mostly in Southern California between 1986 and 1990, record the existence of these disenfranchised Americans, men and women, hawking souls for the price of a Big Mac and a fix, struggling in a culture that deems them criminal and expendable. As Sothern opines, "Anyone could offer them 10 bucks to take a brick in the face and they’d hold out their palm." These timeless portraits, described as both harsh and intelligent, reveal the never changing plight of the street prostitute. The photography on display throughout Lowlife is at times explicit. The images bring to mind the works of early twentieth-century photographer E.J. Bellocq, as well as contemporary photographers Nan Golden and Diane Arbus.

This exhibition contains graphic nudity and explicit content.

A second generation photographer, Scot Sothern was behind a camera and in the darkroom from an early age. In the 1960s, rebellious and angry, he learned to use photography as a weapon while hiding behind the viewfinder. In September, Lowlife, photos and literary vignettes, was published in the UK by Stanley Barker. Lowlife, the memoir, will be translated and published in France in 2012, by 13e Note Editions in Paris.

Links to Interviews, articles and more photos:

Dangerous Minds

Scot Sothern's Blog
T.A.: Why I Love Scot Sothern's Lowlife

  Lowlife, original exhibition catalog ©2010
  Inquire for more info










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