The Hollywood Suites (nudes) 1974-1975
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"The Hollywood Suites" series came about almost accidentally, following a brief stint as a bondage magazine photographer in L.A. I became intrigued by some elements of the idiom and began further, less commercial, photographic explorations on my own. I would set up situations in funky, rent-by-the-hour, one-room apartments in the older, run-down sections of Hollywood, hired models from porno agencies and created images that somehow spoke to the broader issues of bondage, containment and isolation. These were "no-exit" situations, entered into without plan, full of anxiety, in the hope of producing some document of the experience that was explicit, visually powerful, yet went beyond what it was. It was my intent, through these explorations of the unknown to be involved as an artist.
I was not playing voyeur in these situations, except in the sense that I was looking at myself and recording the choices I made. I wanted the process to be contained within the room, so shot pull-and-peel, black and white Polaroid prints with a Polaroid Land camera and on-camera flash. In this way the images could be viewed almost immediately, feeding the experience as it evolved. I worked like this for approximately one year and produced a set of nudes and portraits entitled "The Hollywood Suites (nudes)."
These images were made at a time (1974-75) when other artists were starting to document events within their own constructions. I didn't feel I could continue working as a street shooter any more. Apparently others were experiencing similar needs to expand on the traditional concerns of photography.
On one occasion, the model didn't show up, and I found that I could explore the same issues by photographing the room itself - without the models. This discovery led to the next body of work: "The Hollywood Suites (mirrors, windows and doors)". These were studies of the room - exploring the contained (content/me) through explorations of the container itself (the room), how one takes on the nature of the other...