brothels interior by jurgen chill

A brothel above, a prison cell below, but could you tell? These plan-view photographs-from-above are anything but shocking at first glance. In fact, the interior spaces they depict show decorating strategies we might expect to use in our own home … which makes it somewhat surprising to discover they show the insides of prison cells and private rooms within brothels.

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brothels prison rooms
brothels prison interiors

Pics or it didn’t happen: by shooting aerial-style images from the ceiling down, Juergen Chill displaces our perspective enough to jog any preconceptions we might have about a room layout – he does not let us get comfortable in our assumptions by seeing bars or sex-worker signs before we enter.

brothels prison designs
brothels prison cells interiors

While the jail inmate interiors do look a bit bare they seem larger than the typical dorm room and at least as comfortable (did you have a sink in your college space?), even with the gray tile floor and rather Spartan-looking beds hanging from a side wall. Then there are the desks with computers and other hallmarks of home – it would be difficult to tell that they were not simply the bedrooms of your neighbors, friends or family.

brothels revealed by jurgen chill
brothels photos by jurgen chill

As for the paid-sex spaces, well, these are even harder to identify as anything out of the ordinary. If anything, they are amazingly conventional – except when you see a piece of bondage gear here or there. Complete with nice decorative elements and color schemes that vary (though red is obviously a common theme).

About the artist

“The Essen-born photographic artist Jürgen Chill earned a degree in ‘Fine Arts’ at the Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten (University of Arts) in Arnhem (The Netherlands) in 2002. Since then he has been represented in various national and international exhibitions. His works were nominated for various art prizes, and in 2007 he won the European Architectural Photography Prize with the photography series ‘zellen’.”