Philip-Lorca diCorcia – The faces of the hustlers of Hollywood

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Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Major Tom, Kansas City - $20, 1990/ 1992, from Hustlers
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Major Tom, Kansas City – $20, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Published: September 25, 2018

Last updated:

Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s ‘Hustlers’

Between 1990 and 1992, photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia made five trips to Los Angeles to take photos of male prostitutes in Hollywood. DiCorcia first approached his subjects in LA’s “Boystown”, located in West Hollywood. Instead of having sexual activities, diCorcia offered to pay after getting photographs of them.

The best spots for ‘Hustlers’

Before making an agreement with the hustlers, diCorcia had already looked for perfect locations that would bring mystery to his works. He set up the spots in cheap hotel rooms, parking lots, street corners and even the places where the trade of the hustlers is happening. He was focused on the angles where the lights would emphasize the story of the man he wanted to show, in order to share the emotions of his protagonists.

The price of the hustlers

DiCorcia shows what some people may call a harsh reality. Each photo has a name of the subject with his corresponding price. The prices of these hustlers are real.

First time exhibited in 1993

In 1993, the photos were exhibited in diCorcia’s first ever museum show, called Strangers, at the Museum of Modern art in New York. The exhibition showed not only the beauty of the photographs but the strategies and styles diCorcia used in his pieces. Later on, it is been entitled ‘Hustlers’ since it is the best description for the service hustlers rendered.

Impact on Society

The viewer can see how appealing the shots are but know that behind those photos is the sad truth about life. No matter how nice the pose of the boys in the Boystown is, some of the hustlers might have no choice to escape and are forced to live a life that they can’t get out. It has been two decades now since the photos were taken, but still, its impact is there.

Photos

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - André Smith, 28 years old; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; $30
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – André Smith, 28 years old; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; $30, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Brent Booth; 21 years old; Des Moines, Iowa; $30 1990-92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Brent Booth; 21 years old; Des Moines, Iowa; $30, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Brian Scott, 24 years old, San Marco, California, $25, 1990
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Brian Scott, 24 years old, San Marco, California, $25, 1990, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Chris, 28 years old; Los Angeles, California; $30
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Chris, 28 years old; Los Angeles, California; $30, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Eddie Anderson, 21 years old; Houston, Texas; $20
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Eddie Anderson, 21 years old; Houston, Texas; $20, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Gerald Hughes (a.k.a. Savage Fantasy), about 25 years old; Southern California; $50
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Gerald Hughes (a.k.a. Savage Fantasy), about 25 years old; Southern California; $50, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Ike Cole, 38 years old; Los Angeles, California; $25
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Ike Cole, 38 years old; Los Angeles, California; $25, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Joe Reeves, 37 years old; San Fernando, California; $40
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Joe Reeves, 37 years old; San Fernando, California; $40, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Keith Ryan, 36 years old; Bakersfield, California; $30
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Keith Ryan, 36 years old; Bakersfield, California; $30, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Marilyn, 28 years old; Las Vegas, Nevada; $30
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Marilyn, 28 years old; Las Vegas, Nevada; $30, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Mike Miller, 24 years old, Allentown, Pennsylvania, $25, 1990-92
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Mike Miller, 24 years old, Allentown, Pennsylvania, $25, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Ralph Smith, 21 years old; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; $25
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Ralph Smith, 21 years old; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; $25, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Tim, 27 years old; Orange County, California; $30
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Tim, 27 years old; Orange County, California; $30, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - Todd M. Brooks, 22 years old; Denver, Colorado; $40
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – Todd M. Brooks, 22 years old; Denver, Colorado; $40, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

Philip-Lorca diCorcia - William Charles Everlove; 26 years old; Stockholm, Sweden, via Arizona; $40, (1990-92)
Philip-Lorca diCorcia – William Charles Everlove; 26 years old; Stockholm, Sweden, via Arizona; $40, 1990/1992, from Hustlers

All images by Philip-Lorca diCorcia/davidzwirner.com/ unless otherwise noted.

Videos

Philip-Lorca diCorcia about his photography, 2014

6min 41sec

Philip-Lorca diCorcia about his photography, 2013

7min

Exhibition of ‘Hustlers’ at David Zwirner

1min 45sec

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