by Scot Sothern
Fine Art Photography / Documentary / Freaky Deaky
Available July 2013
Using his camera like a knuckled fist, Scot Sothern spent five years photographing street prostitutes and the bleak netherworld they, and he, inhabited. He was not in the trenches as a journalist or crusader but as a John with base instincts and an artistic eye. Gritty, black-and-white Tri-X images, along with Sothern’s short, confessional writing tell the story of An American Lowlife. Shot mostly in Southern California between 1986 and 1990, this work records the existence of the many disenfranchised Americans, men and women, hawking body and soul for the price of a Big Mac and a fix. With these full-frontal portraits, and full disclosure texts, An American Lowlife documents the struggle and paralyzing plight of street-level sex workers—victims of a culture that deems them criminal and expendable.
Originally published in the U.K. as a limited edition artist’s book in 2011, and now out of print, An American Lowlife has been resurrected and is now presented as an EBook for all who missed the original.
Scot Sothern spent 40 unsettled years hustling freelance photography. His first solo exhibit, LOWLIFE, was held at the Drkrm Gallery in Los Angeles in 2010. His first book, LOWLIFE, was published in the U.K. by Stanley Barker in 2011. Scot has since been in solo and group shows on both coasts of the U.S. as well as in Ottawa, London, and Basel. The British Journal of Photography called LOWLIFE, “The years’ most controversial photobook.” Scot writes a twice monthly column, with photographs, “Nocturnal Submissions,” for Vice. His forthcoming book, Curb Service: A Memoir, will be published by Soft Skull Press in July 2013. Sothern maintains a blog, www.scotsothern.com