E. J. Bellocq and the Prostitutes of Storyville


John Ernest Joseph Bellocq is famous for his portraits of prostitutes taken in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century... The portraits were not known until many years after his death and his activites photographing the opium dens and the red light district of Storyville were known only to a select group of friends. After his death much of his work was destroyed; however glass negatives of the storyville portraits were found and made public, printed by photographer Lee Friedlander

Many of the negatives were damaged... mostly with intent... and this caused quite a deal of speculation; women in some wore masks and others posed as if in accordance with a mysterious unknown narrative... despite the motivation and character of Bellocq... no one can deny the elegance and poignancy of the collection...