SCOT SOTHERN / LOWLIFE
Vernissage Friday Sept 21 / 7 – 10pm
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Cruising night time byways for an adrenaline high, Scot Sothern first patronized the marketplace of curbside prostitution on a prurient whim. Diving to the murky depths of sexual obsession he resurfaced five years later, shell shocked, and without excuse. While there, trusty Nikon in hand, Scot snapped what he saw: full-frontal X-rated realities, fine-art documents, black and white, pathos and pizzazz.
LOWLIFE is an illustrated diary of dysfunction; the confessions of a befuddled baby-boomer maintaining a precarious connection to propriety and fatherhood while side-tripping into noirish infatuations. These stories and images, shot mostly in Southern California between 1986 and 1990 record the existence of the many disenfranchised Americans, men and women, hawking body and soul for the price of a Big Mac and a fix, struggling in a culture that deems them criminal and expendable.’
Sothern is an American born and based photographer, spending the majority of his career in commercial photography and film. ‘Lowlife’ is his first exhibited series, and has propelled Sothern to fame with the courageous honesty in his text and the uncompromising direction of his images. This will be his first Canadian exhibition.
Leaving home and formal education at seventeen, in the 1960′s, Scot Sothern spent thirty-seven unsettled years hustling freelance photography. Scot worked in department stores, churches, bowling alleys, sports events and high school proms. He worked in a cave at a tourist-trap in Missouri, making and selling photo mementos. Traveling with aportable studio, knocking door-to-door in suburban America, he made and sold children’s portraits and novelties–photo buttons and key-chain viewers. Scot shot model’s portfolios, head-shots, and nude magazine layouts. He spent three years in Tallahassee, Florida, with a photography studio, three seasons with a high school yearbook studio in Los Angeles, and has been employed in three different cities as a darkroom technician.
In 1983, in Saudi Arabia, Scot made industrial training films and photographed the disappearing Bedouin tribes. He worked as an optical camera operator in Los Angeles and New York City. Scot photo-illustrated a series of magazine stories including “Shopping For God: Religious Cults in America”. These essays were represented by both the Black Star and Onyx Photo agencies and published worldwide. Forced into commercial retirement by the crippling by product of a motorcycle mishap, Scot now writes books and has continued making photographs.
In 2010 Scot’s first solo exhibit, LOWLIFE, was at the Drkrm Gallery in Los Angeles. In 2011 Lowlife, the book, photos and text, was published in the UK by Stanley Barker.
This is Scot’s Canadian Premiere for LOWLIFE.