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Thursday, 20 May 2010

An Interview with Scot Sothern

Continuing on the Scot Sothern theme, here are some extracts from an interveiw with Scot Sothern by his son, Austin Wolf-Sothern. You can find the full interview here

A: What inspired you to take photos of prostitutes?
1. I thought maybe I could get famous in the arty underground, or at least acquire a cult following.
2. I couldn't afford real models.
3. Sex and cheap thrills.
4. I wanted to make art with a fuck-you attitude.
5. I wanted to end world hunger.

A: Do you remember what the very first photo you took of a prostitute was?
SS: I think 1986. I wrote another story about the first time but this is a different first time. I was living with you and your mother at Berkeley student housing in Albany. You were three or four. Your mother was a student and I was unemployed. The marriage was in ruins. In a rage one night after a bloody verbal bout with your mother, I drove to San Pablo Boulevard to pick up a whore. I guess I figured degenerate sex in the car would make me feel better. I had my camera and a roll of film and my flash attachment with me, so after sex, which did make me feel better, I took some pictures. It was a couple of years later, when I was crashing at my friend Matt's in the valley, before I developed the film along with another five or six rolls I'd shot by then. I continued the sessions until 1990.


A: What has been the general reaction to the show?
SS: So far everyone likes it. The people I've talked to seem to go gaga for the literary vignettes I wrote which are posted next to the photos. I think the writing helps to humanize the subject matter. I like that there has been such a favorable reaction, but at the same time I was hoping for some outrage. I've had twenty years of rejection from galleries and publishers because the photos and stories were too blatant somehow. Now I don't even get a single protest. That's fucked up. Hopefully over time I'll get more exposure and attract the attention of people who hate people like me and the art I make. In a perfect world I'd open up a heated dialogue or two. I always thought it would be cool to see a burning effigy with my face.

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