Brent Booth; 21 Years Old; Des Moines, Iowa; $30

Philip-Lorca DiCorcia

Hartford, Connecticut, USA, 1953
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    Chromogenic print on paper
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    Image: 38,6 x 58 cm / Support: 50,7 x 60,9 cm
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Hustlers or Hollywood is the series with which Philip-Lorca diCorcia broke through as a photographer. On a grant from the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts), diCorcia went to Hollywood, where he decided to systematically create meticulously prepared portraits of transvestite prostitutes around Santa Monica Boulevard. DiCorcia’s pictures make no clear reference to any subject’s work; apart from the context of an urban exterior, information is provided neutrally in the captions, which include the name, the age and the price charged for their sexual services. This way of playing with information, using text and image, is close to certain strategies in conceptual art. While diCorcia’s work contains some elements of documentary photography, his painstaking scene setting turns reality into fiction, so that it comes across as a highly constructed photograph, vacillating between artifice and reality. His way of working clearly shows the influence of Hollywood films and advertising, as well as the street photography of artists like Paul Strand, Walker Evans and Helen Levitt.

Concha Calvo Salanova