The first thing that entered my head when I stood in front of Marcos Zimmermann‘s astonishing silver gelatin portraits of nude working class men from South America was, How the heck did he get these guys to do this? This is not a part of the world known for embracing male nudity (especially in traditionally modest societies like Bolivia). The answer to my question was pretty simple, however: Zimmermann paid his subjects — all working class men who needed the money. It was well worth it. Best known for his dramatic landscape photographs, the Argentinean photographer manages to capture these men at their most vulnerable, but also their most powerful.
The photos are on show as part of the exhibit Desnudos Sudamericanos, at Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles, through April 17.
Top to bottom: Mario, changador, Mercado Rodríguez, La Paz, Bolivia (2006); Pablo y Marino, malabaristas callejeros en una casa tomada, San Isidro, provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2002); Muchachos en una terraza, Favela Cantagalo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (2006). (All images courtesy of Couturier.)