If you were to ask your uncles who frequented New York City anytime in the 80’s, they will certainly recall visiting some slightly (no, very) seedy joints throughout the square. Before Disney and MTV turned the area into candy land, “42nd Street-Times Square—a.k.a. the Forty-Deuce” was the center of all things normals (or abnormal to some). Photographer, Bill Butterworth, captured the scene through intimate portraits of the people and faces that walked and worked Time Squares.
powerHouse Books collects a year’s worth of Butterworth’s photographs in The Forty-Deuce: The Times Square Photographs of Bill Butterworth, 1983-1984 collects more than 200 of Butterworth’s photos from the period “capturing the unique street life and street style of the era, but also drawing us deeper in, to the peep shows, sex shops, backroom brothels, dimly lit arcades, and low-budget theatres where the action happened.” This stuff is real life and a moment which we may never see in Time Square again.
Photography: From The Forty-Deuce: The Times Square Photographs of Bill Butterworth, 1983-1984 edited by Hilton Ariel Ruiz and Beatriz Ruiz, published by powerHouse Books.
More looks from inside the photo book in our gallery.