Malerie Marder’s Powerful Photographs Of Sex Workers

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder’s powerful images of nude women become that much more provocative when a viewer learns that the subjects are sex workers.  Made over the past five years in Amsterdam and Rotterdam Marder sought to capture the diverse population of women in The Netherlands who support themselves and their families through legal prostitution.

The women are, in her words:

“part hallucinatory and part real, [they] intrinsically have a different relationship to their bodies…Women’s bodies hide as much as they reveal.  I thought of Aphrodite, working single mothers, odalisques, adulterers and enigmas…The thought of how they got there was deeply troubling.  My camera was a passport into a gray, hidden world; the result of a liberal society where free will is a question mark.”

Anatomy
is currently on view at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects in New YorkClearly referencing the physicality of the work the exhibition title also plays off Oxford scholar Robert Burton’s encyclopedic tome that was inspired by his recurring bouts of depression, The Anatomy of Melancholy.

With this body of work Marder manages to capture her female subjects as simultaneously objectified and exposed, as well as individualized and empowered, albeit in a unique way.  Their stories are written in their expressions, which are equally as compelling as the fact that they are nude.  Hung salon style, the show should not be missed and runs through December 21.

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

Malerie Marder - photograph

Copyright Malerie Marder, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York

 

  • Bennie The Bouncer

    Methinks there was some preselection of the individuals here; these evidence neither the look nor body conditioning that I have come to associate with the sex workers I know, and I know quite a few. Mind you, the ones I know are pros and spend a lot of time keeping in shape, and make sure their looks are an asset – I’m not talking about random streetwalkers. In any case, a worthy undertaking, and very interesting.

  • Dano

    Dude, your definition of a “pro” is skewed by a Hollywood lens of Julia Roberts

  • Bennie The Bouncer

    No, it’s guided by actual people I know in the business, as I said. Apparently you have reading comprehension problems; probably best not to post your opinions when you’re not in the habit of utilizing the facts available to you. Or, you could, you know, learn to read.

  • Carlos Danger

    So you’re a John with pockets full of coins.

  • http://www.zurker.com/berzurker headhopper

    Did you really need to tear him to shreds? He might be stoned, or have someone yabbering away in his ear, or be challenged some other way. Let’s be nice. He wasn’t rude to you at all; he was merely wrong. That’s no reason to be mean to someone.

  • http://www.zurker.com/berzurker headhopper

    You couldn’t find enough money in the world to make me sleep with that horrible woman.

  • Piratas do século

    MGnifico phots

  • Final_Word

    OMG. If I had ever thought about buying a sex worker I will NEVER do it now. I am mentally scarred by these whales.

  • Final_Word

    Don’t you know that Bennie spends all the money his mommy gives him on hookers. He is some sort of expert.

  • Final_Word

    Is MGnifico another word for fat cow?

  • mmendel46

    I generally avoid hookers….and now apparently i’m not missing much. I would never pay any of these women for sex. Maybe at 3am drunk and she’s in the bar I would do it, but I damn sure wouldn’t pay for it.

  • bvocal

    So glad for you that you are totally fit and ripped and have a less than 5% body fat, right? If you are not perfectly slim, then your a hypocrite, if you are perfectly slim, then you are being a class A Jerk.

  • Brain God

    @e9559bc88a476f4e77ae0f18b8c1d8be:disqus I’m officially a genius, and my superior brain tells me that Bennie the Bouncer is most likely a bouncer by trade.

    Further research suggests that many sex workers find their clients inside clubs & bars. The bouncers and bartenders will recognize what is going on and know who they are. If they want to ever be allowed back in, they’d better have some kind of understanding with the bouncer.

    Isn’t that just an amazing revelation?

  • Antony

    Yes, I am aware the pros that you are referring to. I am actually very curious what message Malerie Marder intended for viewers.

    Judging from the photo, you can’t really tell whether the lack of smile was due to their personal baggage or due to the “professional requirement of being part of a portrait (just like models do not smile)”

    Sex workers are just like people. Not all have the same baggage. Some are quite down to earth and very friendly…and some I dare say are far more comforting to talk to than women you find at other social functions.

    And yes, many of them are in good physical shape, making sure all the safety are in place as well as protections. Very good people to get to know.

  • hakaisou

    i agree with bennie. if you’ve never been there stfu.

  • Antony

    Did you forget that sex workers are also human beings? With that attitude of yours, these sex workers may not take you in as a client, even if you beg.

    Granted, maybe the type of sex workers you have in mind are street walkers or sex slaves. But they are people too, just in different situations than yours.

  • Adrian

    Bull I don’t see any knife and bullet scars, track marks, stretch marks, or jail house tattoos

  • RainFall

    You clearly didn’t read the response. That’s about as condescending of a response as you can get. Hooray for passive aggressive culture!

  • Jim Dawkins

    Guys post a picture of yourself in your underwear and see how many woman swoon over your hairy self. This is a story about their humanity not you judging them because they don’t look like playboy bunnies.

  • Suzy Lee

    Yes. Congratulations, you captured the whole intention of this work.

  • Joe Joejoe

    I’ll take the second one.

  • Kevin

    Wow people are such dicks. The photos are quite good.

  • marinagp

    no…it is short for magnificent photos in a foreign language…with your vulgar approach you do not have the final word, no way.

  • Bynnie

    These photos are interesting. Instead of finding them provocative the spurred feelings of sadness and intrigue for me. I wonder how and why they got into the business, are they happy with their profession, what are their other activities. I’d like to know more about their lives outside of the prostitution.

  • Bynnie

    *they

  • frankie

    First of all, you don’t “buy” a sex worker. They are WORKERS not a product. You buy their services and their time, you don’t own them. Second, cool to know about your gross beauty standards. Real cool. I would pay to see any of these women stomp your ass.

    On a side note this photo series was really powerful to me and I really liked the sort of religious themes in some of them.