'LIKE THE BERLIN of Grosz, Mario Minichello's Amsterdam shows the hardness, the human pain and the ugliness of the red light zone. A world of weary whores and lap dancers, customers and clients with stricken faces, and malevolent pimps.

It shows their places of work — crowded clubs full of contorted male faces, bare rooms with a crumpled bed and billowing net curtains and streets full of garish menace. Mario Minichello's work grabs your eyes, your brain, your whole self.

This is not easy viewing: this is intense engagement. Every image involves you — as witness, as voyeur, as participant. It's a world full of eyes, of furtive looks, of hard confrontational stares, of eyes full of fear and guilt, of leering animal eyes.

The eyes are the most naked element in Mario Minichello's Amsterdam, windows that reveal the true nature of the red light zone.

Mario's art captures this half-hell better than anything you can imagine: pour yourself a whisky, light a cigarette and enter'


Martin Mulloy
BBC Publications Director
BBC World Wide