In the winter of 1993 – 1994 American photographer Merry Alpern found herself staying in a New York City apartment whose bathroom window faced equally dingy windows of an after hours sex club near Wall Street, where the power brokers exchanged cash for hookers and drugs.
The following year congressional conservatives trying to defund the National Endowment for the Arts seized on her work as an example of “publicly funded pornography”. As a result, museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco rushed to exhibit the series. She later produced and exhibited another show called Shopping which included images from hidden video cameras.
Her work has since been shown in museums and exhibitions around the country including the Whitney Museum of American Art,San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.