Jackie Brenner Photography
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“30 years after Susan Meiselas photographed carnival strippers as they bumped through performances in small towns in New England, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, Jackie Brenner brings us back to the women who expose themselves for money. It appears the men in New Orleans are bigger tippers, or maybe, it’s only inflation that has increased the wad of money tucked in their garters. These women are just as young, sad, bored, and manhandled as those in Meiselas’ carnivals. Nor have the acts changed, or the costumes: tassels, glitter, black hose, and the essential garter that’s tight enough to hold the bills and high enough on the thigh to make the customers grin like little boys getting away with something. The rooms are dark, the lights are harsh, and the strippers’ lives are hard scrabble. For me, the two most poignant pictures are still lives late in the book. One is of a small case containing cigarettes, makeup and photographs of small children. The other is of fuck-me open-toe shoes with ankle-breaking heels and three inch soles. A wad of bills rests at the toes, and appropriately for New Orleans, Andrew Jackson’s face graces the top bill. Ms Brenner makes it plain in her pictures, and Josephine Sacabo eloquently decries in her introduction, that when clearly seen, legendary Bourbon Street is more mean than glamorous, degrading for men and women alike.”    

  Anne Wilkes Tucker, curator Museum of fine Arts, Houston, Texas

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