The Forty-Deuce: The Times Square Photographs of Bill Butterworth, 1983-1984 is an enthralling peek at New York’s 42nd Street as it was in the early 80s, a grimy and glitzy place where an assorted cast of hustlers, b-boys, prostitutes and other members of Times Square’s working class plied their trade.
Curated by Beatriz and Hilton Ariel Ruiz, Butterworth’s photos never lose sight of their subjects’ humanity even as they revel in the seedy glamour and slick street fashions on display.
It is trendy these days to wax nostalgic about an old-school New York that was gritty and vibrant, yet The Forty Deuce is more than a wistful snapshot of a city that once was; rather it is a tribute to the tenacity and troubled beauty of its denizens, many of whom were marginalized by mainstream society and would otherwise be forgotten.
The Forty-Deuce: The Times Square Photographs of Bill Butterworth, 1983-1984 is published by powerHouse Books.
Prints from the book are on display at the powerHouse Arena in Dumbo, Brooklyn through July 1st.