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Frank Rispoli


The Meat Market

“The Meat Market” series documents the trans prostitutes of New York City’s Meat Market District in the late 1980s, a time when an intense energy and pulsating sexuality could be found on the stages of the city streets. I was drawn to the unabashed performance and public display of eroticism that is an inherent and necessary part of how these women make a living. The women played willingly and naturally to the camera, to the additional and future audience it implies.  They seemed to relish having their performances made permanent in a momentary recording and allowed me to freely photograph their brazen, provocative, and liberated behavior and body language. Unlike my High Heels work, these images show much more of the subject’s bodies, and most importantly, their faces. Their individual identities, how they project these identities, and how they have defined themselves can be seen through the details of their appearance; the clothing they wear, their hair and makeup, facial expressions, and the poses they strike, all of which are significantly telling.

Frank Rispoli

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