Sexhibitionists at DRKRM.Gallery
Sexhibitionists: Photographs by James Stiles
DRKRM.Gallery is excited to present Sexhibitionists, photographer James Stiles voyeuristic journey though the NYC fetish world of the 1980s and 1990s. Sexhibitionists, is the first exhibition at drkrm/gallery’s new Downtown LA Gallery Row location and will be on display from January 15th until February 25th, 2011 with an Opening Reception Saturday January 15th from 6pm till 10 pm.
James Stiles photographs are “formal” portraits of the habitué of New York City’s erotic culture. Perhaps a better term to describe these subjects would be “sexual performers.” These images are real-life portraits of people in their homes—or occasionally in a private dungeon—revealing their true sexual nature for the camera. These images include Sexhibitionists of many alternative lifestyles: porn stars, transvestites, people from the BDSM world, strippers, and drag queens and kings.
Stiles’ genuine interest and innocent acceptance of these varied sexual lifestyles gained the respect and trust of most of his subjects. In the 1980s he frequented the Hellfire S&M club and later became the house photographer at Pandora’s Box, a premiere S&M club in New York. Little by little, these sexhibitionists accepted him into their world.
The works of Robert Mapplethorpe and Helmut Newton had a profound effect on his style; the formal uncluttered design of Mapplethorpe’s compositions, as well as Newton’s storytelling qualities. Stiles notes that Diane Arbus was also a very strong influence, “The first shoots of this series resembled her work in many ways. Later I changed my style to something less cruel and more theatrical, but there is still some of her influence in these images.”
James Stiles has been a working photographer for over 20 years specializing in Fashion, Portraits and Still-life. He is a recent transplant to Los Angeles from his home town of NYC. His work has been published and exhibited internationally and nationally with such notable photographers as Robert Mapplethorpe and Helmut Newton, as well as several solo shows Including The MBM Gallery, SoHo, NYC. He received his BFA from The School of Visual Arts and is currently teaching photography at Otis College of Art & Design.
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