Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Hustlers

‘Brent Booth, 21 years old, Des Moines, Iowa $30'

'Ike Cole, 38 years old, Los Angeles, CA, $25’

'Mike Miller, 24 years, Allentown, PA, $25'

'William Charles Everlove; 26 years old; Stockholm, Sweden, via Arizona; $40,'

“Ralph Smith; 21 years old; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; $25.”

'It might be said that twilight is a muddled form of clarity. The warm glow that suffuses the ' golden hour' in Los Angeles acts to filter the grim realities, the outright lies, the self-deceptions, which allow Hollywood, and by extension, America to flourish. 'Twilight' provides the rose-coloured glasses that make it possible to see out but not see in.'
Philip-Lorca diCorcia

Philip-Lorca diCorcia (born 1951) is an American photographer. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Afterwards diCorcia attended Yale University where he received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography in 1979. He now lives and works in New York, and teaches at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

"Hustlers," his best-known series, contains shots of  young men strutting their stuff along Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Made from 1990 to 1992 and funded with a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship (which led to a governmental complaint), diCorcia's breakout series features men posing for their portraits in motel rooms, parking lots and laundromats, outside fast-food restaurants, gas stations and boarded-up buildings, and simply sitting at bus stops or on street corners, usually at dusk.

The guys are fantastic for their individuality. Although many are clearly pretending to be someone they've seen in the movies, most can't be bothered with such silly fantasies and stand, matter-of-factly, for the camera. Not one elicits pity. Or begs for sympathy. Or for anything at all. A here-I-stand, this-is-it groundedness suffuses the strongest. It's an attractive quality.

diCorcia has labeled each portrait with the man's name and age, the city he came to L.A. from and the amount of money he would charge for his time an therefore was paid for the picture (from $20 to $50). The bare-bones info speaks volumes, but it's no match for the riveting intensity and haunting complexity of the pictures.

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