Scot Sothern is an older photographer, who due to a gnarly motorcycle injury, now walks with a cane. His stunning black and white photographs taken years ago explore what many consider to be the world’s oldest profession, prostitution, while his recent color shots document the random scenes he encounters on a daily basis. And while many of us roll up our windows and try to avoid even subtle eye contact with street corner hookers, Sothern welcomed them into motel rooms to pose for his unnerving lens and even partake in debauchery reserved for a pervert’s imagination and Charles Bukowski’s pen. He was probably the only person to ever shoot his subjects with something other than a gun or semen and his photos, mostly taken in the late 1980s went largely unseen until his first exhibit in 2010 at DRKRM Gallery in downtown LA – just blocks away from where a fan could’ve gotten into some serious trouble if they were inspired by the work. Besides living a wild life and making sure to have a camera there to capture it all, Sothern is also a wonderful writer who is able to describe his experiences with literal crack-addicted whores like they were the most elegant things you’ve ever read about in your life. WARNING: This post contains images that are NSFW.








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  • Caitlin Sieh

    “He was probably the only person to ever shoot his subjects with something other then a gun or semen.”

    Way to get that witty jab in (in both the headline AND the text). Firstly, you write for an art magazine. A basic art education might teach you that prostitutes have been artists’ subjects for…well, ever.

    What a totally unoriginal, debasing and unnecessary thing to say about the photographs (and their subjects).

  • Interesting. I think these pictures have a wicked feel to them.

  • Amilcar Moretti

    Scot Sothern es un fotógrafo norteamericano que continúa la tendencia realista que ha caracterizado gran parte de la fotografía urbana de la gran ciudad en Estados Unidos del siglo XX. Aquí toma a prostitutas de sectores marginados y marginales y las registra en sus medios y ámbitos interiores cotidianos, con fuertes contrastes de blanco y negro que acentúan el deterioro de un espacio social en autodestrucción por exclusión social. Sus fotos, que siempre tuvieron problemas de censura pública, recién hace poco pudieron exhibirse en Los Angeles. Muchos suponen que sus imágenes lindan con la pornografía cuando en verdad se ubican plenas en la crudeza y crueldad de un mundo que se denuncia a sí mismo. Sus fotos son frontales, barrocas y minimalistas al mismo tiempo y de alto valor testimonial no son cierto ambiguo matiz de perversión consciente, como para acentuar el propósito de interpelación al espectador.

  • Lee’ad

    I second that: Tasteless, misogenic headline. And please don’t try to tell yourself it was provocative.

  • It reminds me that this is a side of town I don’t want to be on. Gross. I need a shower.

  • Sad and awesome at the same time..

  • Lauren May

    Yes, I get an un-easy feeling from images like this – in that… are these images an artifact of exploitation? The writer of the article seems to be continuing the legacy of objectification of these human beings. But ultimately I think their beauty, and their import in terms of expressing fragments and stories from this world that is so hidden from the rest of society, out weighs the traces of the game of abuse.