Scot Sothern's project A NEW LOW is a series of explicit color portraits, both harsh and intelligent. Shot exclusively in Los Angeles, Sothern’s strobe penetrates the shadows to reveal an America where life is a tragic accident and nobody cares. “I'm exploiting the bottom of the victim pile,” Sothern explains, “But I try to ease their desperation if I can. I give them money for drugs and I tell them they're beautiful."
Yet, Sothern doesn't want to only shock us; He wants to make us aware of the extreme places of humanity, the desperate things people do in order to make it to tomorrow. He says, "Whores are not whores for fun, people don’t live on the sidewalk for the adventure". One simply cannot view these images and walk away unaffected.
A NEW LOW is the continuation, if not sequel, to his earlier work called LOWLIFE. Published as a book in 2011, The British Journal of Photography called LOWLIFE "the year's most controversial photobook."
To learn more about Scot Sothern and his motivations behind this project, read our interview with him.
A NEW LOW is on display at drkrm in Los Angeles from August 3 - 31, 2013. Sothern's memoir Curb Service has been published by Soft Skull Press, and An American Lowlife, a digital photo book from powerHouse Books, is available for download.