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Photographs by Philip Fagan

Introduction by Anthony Friedkin
Essay by Camille Waring, PhD


"Third Avenue Brothels is a stunning archive of 20th-century sex work iconography. An unintentional critical intervention to the hidden visual landscape of sex work, the behind-the-scenes of a much maligned and misunderstood work and social space, the brothel. Through Fagan's photographs, we see not only portraits of women, but together, as a collection they depict a portrait of a man who rebukes the uncaring, unscrupulous figure of the pimp and brothel manager, with his tender photographs of work, solidarity, fleeting friendships, and private moments."

--Camille Waring, PhD Photography, Westminster School of Art.

"Phillip Fagan's photos of sex workers are a must see! I am grateful this book is in the world preserving this delicious slice of Manhattan's rich whore herstory. Having worked in a brothel myself on the same street during the same time period, I can attest to how this collection captures these sex workers hearts and souls, their wisdom and struggle, and authentic work place environment. It's just like being there."

--Annie Sprinkle, Former prostitute turned multi-media artist.

"This unique collection of stark, gritty and suprisingly touching black and white images reveals the everyday world of working girls in NYC in the 1980's. Rarely does Philip Fagan's camera intrude; it is merely a voyeur or even a welcome partner. These candid and straight forward portraits are reminescent of Diane Arbus’ pictures of people on the fringes of society crossed with Ernest J. Bellocq’s Storyville Photographs taken in the Red Light District of New Orleans in the 1900’s."

--Anthony Friedkin

Exhibition link