Bob Coulter – Bad Girls Hotel

14.09.2011 in14:51 in Art -->



Justice Potter Stewart made the comment that he was not exactly sure what pornography is, but that he would know it if he saw it. One wonders what Justice Stewart would think of the work of Bob Coulter. Bob, who previously authored “Crazy Babe” is clearly working with a unique vision. Is this erotic art, is it a social statement, is it just pornography? Probably none of those. More likely, it’s a documentation of the wilder side of New York City in the 21st century. Bob’s models are certainly girls on the edge. Tattoos, peircings, dyed hair. They are dancers, escorts, waitresses, and an occasional medical student. But for some reason, they are all drawn to showing off their bodies in ways that reveal not just their private parts, but in ways that reveal their charactersand maybe a sense of rebellion. Women’s rights advocates posit that women must have the right to control their bodies, and these girls certainly seem to be walking their own paths. But you could argue that these “poor waifs” are simply reacting to a male dominated society. So who the fuck knows. But they are strange….that’s for sure.

What is even more strange is the hotel where Bob has done these photos. Spinning off his original idea of photographing his “babes” at the “upscale” Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan, Bob has gone over the edge with this work. All the photos have been done in the course of a year at the notorious “Carlton Arms Hotel” on 25th street. Nobody in their right mind would ever stay there. So the guests that do stay there are mostly European tourists, and some natives who want to be able to say they spent a night in a room that reminds you of the Merry Pranksters’ Magic Bus.