Between 1990 and 1992, Philip Lorca diCorcia took photos of male prostitutes in "Boystown", West Hollywood. Knowing precisely what he wanted from each photograph and fearful of police involvement, diCorcia would prearrange all settings before cruising the streets propositioning hustlers. He then brought his subjects to his pre-prepared locations to make their portraits and paid them the equivalent fee they would have charged for sex. From the moment he approached a potential subject to the completion of the shoot, these encounters could not take more than one hour. The photographs are titled with the subject's name, age, place of birth and the customary price for his services. DiCorcia’s images bring to mind film stills, but what sets them apart from mere portraiture is their potent sense of paradox. While diCorcia's preparation and theatrical direction are more closely aligned to elaborate Hollywood film production, the authenticity of his subjects relate directly to the traditions of documentary photography. In melding these seemingly contradictory ideals, diCorcia's work operates in the space between postmodern fiction and documentary fact. Hustlers is an empathetic yet melancholic poem of the Hollywood dream gone wrong.
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