Photographer David Perry shows off the large-format black-and-white portraits that he shot crisscrossing border towns between Brownsville and Tijuana. The photographs transmit signs of life emerging from a splintered and troubled landscape, bodies seeming to flow among the chalky black, white, and gray tones. Perry's photos don't judge or glamorize; they transport the viewer into the slow heat of a prostitute's bedroom, to the sparkle of the skin perspiring in a woman's cleavage, or the sidewalk where an accordionist sternly stands. Perry brings the human spirit, blemished or not, out from behind dim backgrounds. The photographs have also been made into a book titled Bordertown, written by Wild at Heart author Barry Gifford and designed by Martin Venezky and Scott Olivers. The exhibit is up through Sept. 5 at Gallery 16, 1616 16th St. (at Kansas), S.F. Admission is free; call 626-7495.
-- Marcy Freedman