Business of Pleasure : New York City Brothels 1987-1991
Photographs by Philip Fagan
September 8th - 30th, 2007
Fagan spent eleven years on Manhattan’s East side in “the
business of pleasure.” Extraordinarily rare access enabled him to
befriend and photograph many of the women who earned their living in the
sex trade. “I did not photograph the girls as an essay, or as an
exploitive study of girls in a lowly profession,” Fagan explains.
“I photographed the girls because I spent all my time, almost 24-7,
with them.” Reviewing the images after these many years, Fagan says,
“I hope with all my heart that the women survived and have found
something fulfilling so they never think about going back.”
Business of Pleasure will open with a reception for the artist Saturday,
September 8th from 7pm-12am and will be on display through September 30th,
click here for video slideshow
This unique exhibition of stark, gritty and suprisingly touching black
and white images reveals the everyday world of working girls. Rarely does
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.
Just like the past photographic greats, Brassi, and Bellocq who understood
the life of prostitutes, and paid homage to them by photographing their
presence in the houses of “ill repute” so has Phillip Fagan
added sensitive documentation to this way of life. His photographs record
an existence in the brothels most people will never understand or be eye
witnesses to. These are real women, with real stories and real lives.
Not only are many of Phillip’s photographs elegantly seen, and reveal
deeper truths about the world of prostitution but they are as much about
him as they are about the women he chose to honor in his pictures.
-- Anthony Friedkin
drkrm/gallery is an exhibition space dedicated to the display and survey
of popular cultural images, fine art photography, cutting edge and alternative
photographic processes. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday,
11 am – 5 pm. Sunday 1 pm - 4 pm
All gallery events are free and open to the public.