During the years 1990-to 1992 Philip-Lorca DiCorcia created a series of photographs of male prostitutes in Los Angeles. He found his models in the area around Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. The titles of the works reflect the model's name, origin and the amount they received for the photography, which is also the amount they charge for their most common sexual services.
Genre-wise DiCorcia's images are in the borderlands between street photography and conceptual photography. They capture reality and life on the streets while being staged and sophisticatedly lit. He asked the models to pose in a pre-selected location, a motel room, a parking lot or a fast-food restaurant. The photographs have a cinematic quality to them and resemble film stills.
The more specific the interpretation suggested by a picture, the less happy I am with it.
› From ”the Hustlers Series”, 1990–1992. Signed Philip-Lorca diCorcia verso. Edition of 20. C-print, image 64 x 95 cm. Estimate 200 000 – 250 000 SEK.
In 1993, 21 works from the series were shown under the name "Strangers" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in DiCorcia's very first museum exhibition. The series was later named "Hustlers" because it better described the models.
The series provides a melancholy are at the same time a defiant image of the dark side of the American dream and the tragic lives of individuals. Philip-Lorca diCorcia defines a type of cinematic photography that became trendsetting in the early 1990s where photographers such as Wim Wenders, Gregory Crewdson and Nan Goldin were also significant.
"Marilyn, 28 years old, Las Vegas, Nevada, $ 30" is one of diCorcia's most famous motifs and can be found in prominent museum collections around the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Museum Helmond, Netherlands