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  "Creative Cropping for 2 of spades" gelatin silver print with playing card
© Sid Kaplan - New York City, New York

SKIN 2003 part 2 index


In the 60’s, myself and a cohort had an opportunity to make a lot of money in what was a highly illegal mass-production of pornography. The scam backfired with a vengance.
The negatives (furnished by the clients) were put in a safe deposit box without any more thoughts or incidents, for over 35 years, until about a year ago.
Christopher Mealle, a fellow colleague, was telling me of a project he was undertaking to collect over 600 "vintage" (1920’s-60’s) smut photos for a very thick book ("Sexcats" to be published in the fall of ‘03). I started reminiscing about my bygone porno days, how we used to crop the smut into head shots and displayed them on the wall with the other legit models’ head shots. He borrowed the negs in order to whittle down the quota of prints he needed for his project, and discovered that all twelve exposures (6x6) were used in a deck of cards that he also collected for the project.
Our career as black and white pornographers was short lived. Automated color printing was making inroads for not much more money than B&W. Censorship laws were rewritten and liberalized, where in newsstands magazines appeared much slicker and clinical with playboy-type models. The black market business was dead. We never did get rich quick.