The evening started with brief stops at Lombard Freid Gallery (The Propeller Group “Lived, Lives, Will Live!”), vivid dreams of Didier Massard “L’Atlas Imaginaire” at Julie Saul Gallery, Damian Ortega’s playful and hushed alphabet shadows at Gladstone Gallery, Josh Smith’s paintings at Luhring Augustine Gallery (missed William Pope.L “Colored Waiting Room” at Mitchell – Innes & Nash due to the rain).
But it was Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s Hustlers at David Zwirner that was clearly the highlight of the evening and maybe the whole Fall art season.
The gallery at 525 West 19th Street (remember: there are multiple locations just blocks away), exhibited 32 photographs from the1990-1992 photographic series, including twelve shown for the first time.
They are photographs of street hustlers and male prostitutes hovering around Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. The titles tell the story: Michael Gomez, 34 years old, Chicago, Illinois, $30, 1990, or: name, age, where they came from, and the price diCorcia paid for posing—roughly equal to what clients usually paid for their services.
The show takes place over three gallery rooms; the prints, about 30×45”, are printed with white boarders of about three inches and are framed with glass; edition of 20 for most.
I recall seeing the work when first showed at MoMA in 1993, where I could not believe the power of the images that I saw. I went back several times to see it. This evening was like seeing some “old friends”, since some individual images are memorable in their own right. But I still felt a sense of amazement when looking at some lesser known photographs and loved some of the newly exhibited ones.
They encompass a languid narrative of mystery—to say “noir” would reduce the work to a style. But evocative, palatable, silently emotive are what they are to me.
To have a gallery show art in such a complete way—three rooms, no less—makes me run to David Zwirner Gallery. Please run yourselves there: it’s great.