The Forty-Deuce by Hilton Ariel Ruiz

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In the 1970s and 80s New York was internationally renowned for its seedy underbelly; the world capital of leisure, luxury, and sin. And the epicenter of New York vice, hands down, was 42nd Street-Times Square—a.k.a. the Forty-Deuce.
  On any given night on the Forty-Deuce you could take in the latest blockbuster, B-movie, or skin flick; cop drugs or cop a feel. A playground for the perverse, as well as a destination for thrill-seekers and partiers from every borough of New York City and beyond, Times Square was the electric heart of the city that refused to sleep.

  The Forty-Deuce: The Times Square Photographs of Bill Butterworth, 1983–1984 is a series of photographs capturing a gritty, glamorous, and authentic old-school New York, well before Mickey Mouse took over Times Square and scrubbed it clean. Curators and editors Beatriz and Hilton Arial Ruiz have collected and preserved the work of local street photographer Bill Butterworth, and have drawn from his work to create a revealing portrait of the Forty-Deuce, inside and out—capturing the unique street life and street style of the era, but also drawing us deeper in, to the peep shows, sex shops, backroom brothels, dimly lit arcades, and low-budget theatres where the action happened. In the tradition of Jamel Shabazz’s classic, Back in the Days, The Forty-Deuce showcases the early-80s style of New York’s first b-boys, out on the town and dressed to impress, but it adds some sin to the mix, with the Deuce’s own slick pimps, strung out hustlers, and the spandex and leather clad prostitutes, strippers, and trannies that worked 42nd Street nightly, and defined it for years.

About Hilton Ariel Ruiz

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Hilton Ariel Ruiz grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. He studied photography at Queens Borough College and the Fashion Institute of Technology, and studied cinema at New York University and the School of Visual Arts, where he audited classes. Ruiz went on to found and run the Chrystie Street Gallery from 1999-2007. Ruiz is currently working on a new photography project, Boxing, as well as a film project, What Ever Happened to the Air Down Here? The True Memoirs of Gil C. Alicea.Beatriz Ruiz grew up on New York City's Lower East Side. She earned a BA from St. Johns University, and a master's degree in Political Science from NYU. Ruiz is currently working on a couple of documentaries and photo projects including Boxing, alongside Hilton Ariel Ruiz.Carlo McCormick is a pop culture critic, curator and Senior Editor of Paper magazine. His numerous contributions to books, monographs, and catalogs include Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture, The Downtown Book: The New York Art Scene 1974-1984, and Dondi White: Style Master General. His work has appeared in Art in America, Art News, Artforum, and many other publications.
Published June 12, 2012 by powerHouse Books. 124 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography.

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