West Side Rendezvous is a collection of photographs by Katsu Naito, documenting the transvestite and transexual streetwalkers of New York's Meatpacking district in the early 90s.
Naito's 45 monochrome images, largely portraits, are at once tough, romantic and full of street-knowledge, capturing moments of beauty in their subject's day-to-day lives. Of all races and backgrounds, their bond with Naito is evident – there's mutual respect in every click.
Debuting in London for the first time, West Side Rendezvous is also the first release from independent publisher Wild Life Press, featuring a foreword by respected fashion designer Ebru Ercon, whilst the pictures themselves are celebrated in an exhibit at concept store LN-CC.
"It was through visiting Nepenthes clothing store during my last New York trip I became aware of the series," Wild Life's Steve Terry tells AnOther. "Daiko Suzuki put together the original exhibition. They know Katsu as his clothing, Poste Overalls, is stocked there. I was struck by the power of the images and then the whole back story which dovetailed with so many other things I am into. I started hanging out, getting to know Angelo [the store's owner] and the guys – plus the local donut spot! And the project rolled from there."
West Side Rendezvous is at LN-CC, London from July 22-31, 2011.