Between 1986 and 1999, the photographer Rick Castro created an archive of portraits using the street hustlers of Santa Monica Boulevard as subjects. Save for individuals he met while traveling in Europe, nearly all of the subjects in this collection were found on a 20-block stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard loosely boundaried by Van Ness Avenue on the east and La Brea Avenue on the west.. Some collaborated with Castro on elaborate bondage scenes. Many he knew just long enough to snap a few frames before they disappeared forever.
S/M BLVD collects 33 images with a foreword by Sam Sweet and a map of central Hollywood. A long-form interview between Castro and Sweet traces the backstories behind each figure. The faces in this book represent the final years of the outdoor tradition, before redevelopment and internet commerce changed the boulevard forever. Together, they form an intimate survey of a Los Angeles subculture widely assumed but scarcely documented.