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In the mid 1980s photographer and writer Scot Sothern embedded himself in the dark inner-city hallows of Los Angeles and took photographs and wrote about what he saw. He shone a light upon the discarded people whose daily existence consisted of glass pipes and slaps across the face, men and women who never had a chance in this world. In 2011, 25 years after beginning the project, this documentation led to his first solo show, Lowlife, at the notorious Drkrm Gallery in Los Angeles. Previously dormant, undiscovered, and rejected by a plethora of editors and curators, this show brought much attention to Sothern and lead to two books: one of photographs called Lowlife and a memoir called Curb Service. Sothern’s work has since become an Internet live wire eliciting either accolades or condemnation from anyone who comes across it.
Streetwalkers is a bleak, real examination of street prostitution in contemporary America by an artist and writer whose own illicit compulsions and literary muscle inform every page. This is the complete collection of Sothern’s work from the Lowlife years as well as from recent shoots. In addition, included are his features from “Nocturnal Submissions,” his online column for VICE magazine. With new work and previously unpublished stories, this 30-year project is now final and should continue to cause strong reactions from all who see it.
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 and as an ebook by powerHouse Books in 2013. The British Journal of Photography called Lowlife, “The years’ most controversial photobook.” Curb Service: A Memoir, was published by Soft Skull Press in July 2013. Sothern has been in solo and group shows on both coasts of the U.S. as well as in Ottawa, London, and Basel. Scot writes a twice monthly column, with photographs, “Nocturnal Submissions,” for VICE. Sothern maintains a blog, www.scotsothern.com