In 1974 the photojournalist and art photographer Steve Kahn began a series of provocative black-and-white Polaroids of porn-industry models posing in seedy Hollywood apartments. What began as an exploration of staged photography and portraiture evolved over the next three years into “The Hollywood Suites,” a multi-faceted conceptual project in which Kahn turned his lens away from the models to deconstruct their seemingly mundane and monotonous surroundings. Endlessly fascinating, Kahn’s series touches on myriad themes including bondage, containment, isolation, and the poetics of absence. This volume includes more than 100 works arranged in chronological groupings based on the original Polaroid film sessions and features essays that offer a scholarly assessment of a groundbreaking work.
JAMES A. GANZ is Curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. His recent publications include Rembrandt’s Century and Arthur Tress: San Francisco 1964 (both by Prestel).