At long last, the provocative work of photographer Joseph Rodriguez has landed in LA.
Flesh Life: Sex in Mexico City, opens Saturday at the Darkroom Gallery in Glassell Park, providing an unorthodox option for your Valentine's Day celebration.
Joe gravitates to tough and tangled topics, and this one's a doozie:
From Nezahualcoyotl, the largest working-class suburb on earth, to La Condesa, Mexico City’s hipster hangout, putas and putos stroll the streets, cruising for johns and surviving on their wit, born out of true desperation. These men, women, and everyone in-between are sex-workers in a country where extra-marital sex is considered a mortal sin, and, confoundingly, where they ply their trade without official reprisal. In Mexico, macho husbands consort with other men, and virgencitas are anything but.
From the intro to the accompanying book, written by So Cal scribe Ruben Martinez:
Spirit, flesh: in the end the same quest, born of a crumbling economy and identity. The single most apparent sign is the proliferation in prostitution, an ‘outing’ of what has always existed, but furtively. The government has officially admitted that it is impossible to rein in the sex trade; Mexico City is not busy busting working women and men, but formulating legal and health guidelines for sex-workers.
Mexico loves to fuck, in a Catholic way. It suffers its fucking so much (¡pecado mortal!), that its pain becomes an inverted delight. We pick the forbidden fruit, we cum, we realize the sin, we confess, we are given absolution, we pick it again. Psychologists, feminists and the French can complain all they want, but the fact is that it is precisely the fact that we've contradicted our desire that has made it so, well, sexy.
Details on the show, the book, and Joe, here.