Photographs by Slava Mogutin
Essay by Bruce Benderson
Photography / Gay Interests / NYC
Hardcover, 7 x 10 inches, 184 pages, over 150 four-color photographs
Slava Mogutin, the notorious Russian dissident-turned-art star and creator of the critically acclaimed Lost Boys (powerHouse Books, 2006), returns with his second monograph, NYC Go-Go, a tribute to the golden age of New York City nightlife.
The once glittering club world had all but disappeared by the time Mogutin arrived in America in the mid-1990s. Under Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s controversial “Quality of Life” campaign, downtown clubs paid the ultimate price: owners were branded community pariahs and paid crippling fines for alleged disruptiveness, while others were prosecuted for criminal acts; many legendary night spots were wiped off the map altogether.
In his new book, Mogutin documents the ever-shrinking downtown gay scene, taking us inside a few remaining joints like the Cock, Boysroom, and Mr. Black. NYC Go-Go is a raunchy journey into the underworld inhabited by hustlers, go-go boys and their admirers. Some of them are “rough trade”—thugs with criminal pasts, busted for prostitution, drugs or armed assaults—while others are “gay for pay,” married with kids and hustling for their families. NYC Go-Go captures the spirit of a scene under fire with Mogutin’s trademark raw, in-your face style.
Siberian-born artist and writer Slava Mogutin was exiled from Russia for his queer writings and activism at the age of twenty-one. He was granted political asylum in the US with the support of Amnesty International and PEN American Center. He is the author of seven books in Russian and the winner of the Andrei Bely Prize for Poetry (2000). Mogutin’s photography has been exhibited internationally and featured in a wide range of publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, ArtUS, i-D, Visionaire, L’Uomo Vogue, and Stern. In 2005, together with his partner-collaborator Brian Kenny, he formed SUPERM, a multimedia art team, responsible for site-specific installations and shows in New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, Berlin, Oslo, London, and Leon, Spain. His first monograph, Lost Boys, was published by powerHouse Books in 2006 and became an instant best seller. He is currently based in New York City.
Bruce Benderson is a bilingual author and translator, the first American to win the prestigious Prix de Flore for the French edition of his memoir The Romanian: Story of an Obsession (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006). His other books include two novels about the street people of old Times Square, User and Pretending to Say No, and the monograph on the cult filmmaker and photographer James Bidgood (Taschen, 1999). He has translated Philippe Sollers, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Tony Duvert, Virginie Despentes and other French authors. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Village Voice, Libération, Paris Vogue, Vice, BlackBook, Out, and Fantastic Man, among others. He has also taught creative writing, urban culture, and French literature at colleges throughout the United States. His most recent book is a collection of essays, Sex and Isolation (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007). He divides his time between New York and Paris.