What was Davide like as a young kid, at the time when you said you were living in the streets and things were much more difficult financially?
Erm, the years I grew with Davide, he was really really sweet and really shy. He was sort of like really quiet and erm, like this kind of kid who was like just trying to get adjusted to his environment because we obviously came from Italy. He was just like a really really sweet, really young kid with like a few friends and stuff, like a few close friends and you know he wasn't, he was into, what was he into? He was just into kind of like video games and you know comics and erm, you know like baseball cards and stuff like that and you know.
Did he he start hanging out with your friends, or did he never really do that?
Well I don't know, Davide and I were like really, like even when we were in Italy we were like inseparable and we were always close really together and when we moved to New York we were together for at least the first five years until I was like 15, we were always like together, you know, and kind of just passing the days like our you know, on the sidewalk chilling and you know like hanging out and we were always together. Then when I turned 15 and I like started like you know, having a little bit more friends and stuff, I sort of like started hanging out with my friends more and sort of like you know, kind of discovering myself a little bit more so we weren't hanging out as much and everything. I mean we used to be totally inseparable and then you know sort of like developed more that like he was my younger brother and you know I was just kind of doing my thing and stuff and getting to know myself and stuff really.
And how did he erm, how, what was his attitude to your taking pictures?
Erm, I think, I think he was like you know, he really, he was really proud of me I think and erm, I think he loved, really loved my pictures and stuff and my work and erm, he, he would, he would take pictures every once in a while, but not really, I don't really remember him like really being into photography until like I don't know, it must have been like now, it's like maybe he was like 18 when he like all of a sudden or maybe yeah 18 when all of a sudden he like started taking up photography like seriously. You know, he would always you know, kind of be like oh you know, check this out, check this out, and erm, you know and I was always showing him stuff and telling him like what I was doing and you know like trying to like give like all my experiences, like through photography and stuff all like tell him about er, what I thought about photography and lighting and like the concepts of photography and things like that. Trying to like, you know give him an insight on like sort of like my experience and he'd be like he could like you know pick it up quicker or something or like you know kinda guide him and direct him a little bit.
He learnt a lot from you and as I understand it, he learnt to use natural light, available light.
Can you talk about that?
You know, I don't know it's really hard right because Davide, I think Davide was like really really a brilliant kid. Ever since like growing up, Davide's always been like really artistic in drawing and I was always like really impressed, like when I was growing up and my father was a painter, he's an artist and stuff and I would always like be copying everything, I'd always be copying and trying to copy everything into detail. But Davide was always like inventing everything you know, he was always like inventing these amazing scenarios and all these different wild things and he had like explanations for every little person or thing. So I always felt that Davide was like much more like instinctively creative than I was, maybe like I put a lot of like effort and work into it and with him it just kinda like came you know. So when he started taking pictures he was like, I was really amazed on like how like he instinctive he was about what he was doing, you know even though I don't know if he really knew what he was doing but it was just coming out and it was like really, he was doing things that I was doing, there like took me, like took me years to develop and he was doing it totally by instinct, obviously like seeing my work he had like a kind of insight but you know and he was seeing what I was doing but when he would go and do it himself. People can't just go and do what you're doing unless they're, it's totally in them and like you know and they're totally fevered and they're like really creative and the way he would do it was like totally like just coming from within you know, like he was totally like talented and incredibly creative.
And he shared with you his attempt to get a rawness and a realness into, into photography.
I don't know, I think he was just you know Davide was like really into his thing, he was really into like his friends, and he was like a home, kind of like a homeboy and stuff. He was like kind of like a homeboy growing up on the streets but with like a much greater sensibility than anyone had on the streets you know, and like he would just pick things up and erm, you know he'd just photograph them and that was like you know like, that was his thing, was photographing what was around him, what, like what he liked which it was all about clothes and style and you know, you know this and being cool and you know skateboarding or rollerblading, like he was doing loads of pictures. But not just like rollerblading but like the whole like lifestyle that went, because it wasn't only about rollerblading for them. It was about rollerblading, like sketching, like the bruises, like getting blistered and stuff, you know like all the things that like New York kids do, you know like blunts and you know music and style and you know. He was like so into that, and that's all he really was trying to capture in these pictures of his friends, and you know like totally put out, like that's what he thought was like the coolest style and the coolest thing you know. And he had an incredible sense of style, incredible, like he was just always like you know had the down, like gear and the new things and like really like cool and stuff.
And part of this coolness lent itself to commercial work, like he started getting commercial breaks and so on.
Yeah totally I mean like you know, he was like a really incredible charismatic kid, and people saw his work and what he was doing and you know, I think a lot, like the way I think I saw it was that a lot of people like saw his work, saw the talent and saw the upward, like the possibilities and the opportunity there to do something new and it was like a direct in into like this whole like streetwiseness way, like street wear, street coolness, there's this whole like hip hop way in youth, cool culture, kind of coolness and stuff. So obviously any like advertiser who was trying to like sell clothes to this kind of culture, wants to project that image and Davide was like a direct in into that culture and like a really, you know real end into it and stuff.
When the term heroin chic was formulated about a whole generation of artists like Glenn Lutchford, Juergen Teller, did Davide come into that climate?
You know, I don't, it's really funny like how things like that happened with the heroin chic because it's crazy how pictures may get totally like misinterpreted by certain people, you know for a while there was like the anorexia thing you know, and that was like you know where really people were just trying to like strip all that sort of like fakeness and all the make up and all the like, like that super like thing that was totally not real and bring a little bit more realism into the images and then people were all off a sudden it was like oh it's anorexia, it's this, it's that. And I think like slowly people like end up taking what they want, you know and then you get like other photographers doing like all these different things, and things just escalate. Then you know it becomes like heroin chic. It's something that is definitely going on out there with kids with the culture you know, there's a lot of kids doing that and stuff and I think in general a lot of people that you know aren't really responsible towards the imagery, like putting out and stuff. They just do whatever, but you know, most of it is just like a big hype that explodes. I have seen some pictures that are like reflecting that and it's like you know, that's like you're like God man, this guy's like taking it too far, you know this guy's crazy. And then there's some other pictures that are you know like you know that has nothing to do with heroin chic or it's got nothing to do with that and people just don't see the difference. You know they can't tell the difference and, and I think, I don't know where it came from, you know I think it probably came from just something that was in the air that was happening, and like some magazine picked up on and started saying do this and I honestly like don't think that those photographers like Glenn Lutchford and Juergen Teller - I mean I'm not to protect them, but I know that they're not like trying to project that image, and I know definitely some of my friends that are photographers were never trying to project that image in a fashion point of view. I mean they're photographs, it is just like they were being blamed for something they never actually did. Next year it's another thing and you know next year people you know people will be getting blamed for something else, you know but you know it was like......
Last edited by robot; 08-04-2008 at 10:10 PM.
Did you, did people put you into that group as well at that time, did you get a similar ...?
Yeah, I think so, people put me into that movement and stuff you know.
But at that time did the label not really bother you or because it didn't really mean much?
It's a really odd subject you know because I mean I've never really tried to project that image of like heroin chic, you know. I mean I don't want to get into like my stuff, my work but like if all my inspirations come from like you know, art like, like artists, like you know. Like during that time my inspirations were like artists like Egon Schiele and stuff like that, you know. So like you know whatever, but erm.
Now going back to Davide do you think he was influenced by this generation of photographers at all, whatever they're called?
Yeah. Yeah, Davide was really definitely influenced by the photographers that he really liked, I mean he always like, referred back to my pictures you know, because like I mean he was my brother and stuff and he was always like "oh my brother's pictures" and that. Then I think he really loved like photographers like Richard Avedon and Robert Frank. He was really into Egon Schiele for a while. When Nan Golding had the big exhibition and she was there, it was like a really big hype around her and he was like really being inspired by her work and stuff. All those photographers were really kind of like his inspirations and Glenn Lutchford and like you know they were really close and stuff and he sort of like you know he was like so hungry for everything that he would just like take everything from around him and like take it in and mix it up and like spit it back out, like in a way that it would just come out. I would always be like "Davide man, you know, you've gotta like you know, you've got to contain yourself a little bit more, you've got to be like more aware of what you're doing and stuff" and he would be like "dude I don't know, I just do it you know, I'm just doing it, it just comes out, you know". I can totally understand that, he was 20 years old and stuff just comes out when you're 20 years old, you know.
From what I learned from Francesca was that for years now people have known that drugs are part of the fashion industry, I mean part of the business. Did you get concerned when he started going out with James?
Yeah, yeah I was concerned as an older brother, definitely concerned, you know, I was concerned for like I think James was his first love, you know. So I was concerned with all the aspects of falling in love with someone you know and that, you know that it can hurt you, that it can be really great thing and it like, you know and I was concerned as his older brother, definitely concerned about getting involved, you know in a like, falling in love with someone and stuff and I'd always be like you know, be really careful who you fall in love with, and you know who you trust and like, who you like open yourself up to and stuff. You know.
Did he talk much about that relationship or did he really?
He was like totally in love with her, I mean I think for him she was like the ultimate you know, the ultimate beauty. He was a kid, he was 20 years old, there was this beautiful like girl who's like a model, who's like you know, you're famous and out there and going out, and Davide totally fell in love with her and stuff. And like their story is pretty crazy and stuff. I don't, you know, I think she was in love with him but you know it's like when you start really... it's like young kids you know, in love, your first love, you don't really know what love is, you're just going off like from your instincts and your emotions. Like you can really hurt someone and you don't even know it, you know and you can really love someone and you don't even know it, you know. So I think they were like experiencing like really like you know in love together and stuff.
And then things start falling apart...
It was really difficult and really hard to tell Davide what to do, you know. You try and put in your word of guidance...I don't know. You know like, she was like going away a lot and he was like here a lot. I think they were breaking up and getting back together a lot and stuff and, stuff like that. You know I think they were living together, like at a certain point, you know.
So the time before his first o/d he seemed troubled, is that right, can you talk us up to what you knew about that first O/D.
It's really odd because like Davide like smoked a lot of weed, but he was not like into drinking, he was not into like heavy hardcore drugs, you know. And I don't know really what happened, like at that point. I don't really know what happened, and it was really odd because Davide was so against it you know. Davide was really against like heroin, cocaine, like all those like really bad negative drugs, so I don't really know like what happened in that. All of a sudden he was like involved in this thing and it was like what's going on, you know and and then you don't know what's happening at all. You're trying to get some sense of what's going on but like you know everyone is lying, so it's kinda like impossible really to know the truth about that, like period, that part, you know that really small part.....
Did you remember er, where were you when you first heard about the, the first OD?
Well I was here at home and my friends called me up and erm, they told me that he had OD'ed and stuff. I went to where he was and I stayed with him and you know the paramedics took care of him and took him to the hospital and stuff. I stayed with him for the night. My parents were away and stuff and I stayed with him for like three days that he was in the hospital and stuff. And erm, you know it was like a terrible, terrible experience. After that my parents came back, my mum tried to sort of like get a hold on the situation, like you know totally took my brother away and you know and then it was like, on him like 24 hours a day. He couldn't like go anywhere or do anything without like making sure, and his friends were like totally like, there's a group of his friends that were totally behind him as well, they were like totally like watching what he was doing and making sure that he wouldn't like get himself into like trouble or anything and things like that. But then there was like another part of his friends that were like more distant friends and stuff that you know were obviously involved in those things and stuff. And erm, like that's, you know I think...
At that time there was talk about him going into rehab.
Well yeah, I mean there is a lot, we were like imploring Davide to go to rehab, you know and the thing is that like he was 20 years old and he was totally his own responsibility and he was considered an adult by the law and we couldn't force him to like do anything. And you know he thought about it, I think he thought about it, but then he would be like no, no, I'm fine, I'm fine, you know, I mean he would like, I don't know, it's like it just, you know there was things that were like so powerful on you, they become like take really over you, like your thoughts and one second you think you're fine and then the next second you like totally lose it, you know. So like you know, it was impossible for us to like have him committed, you know, to like a rehab or anything because he was an adult. you know he had his rights and everything. He knew about that, which was really odd, he was like totally like "I have my rights, you guys can't make me do anything I don't want to do", you know. But at the same time he knew that like things weren't good, that he was like in trouble and stuff so he was like it's really odd because he, you know he would totally be chilling, he'd be like dude don't worry, I'm never doing that **** again, I'm never touching that, you know da da, da, da, like, like the whole like three hour thing and then the next thing you know it was like you know, I don't know, no. You find out that like you know he was doing drugs again or something.
But after the trip to Mexico, I think Francesca thought that he was actually in quite good shape as well. Did you, did it come as a complete shock to you when what happened happened, or did you, did you think that ....?
Well I like, I was like you know, I was like I didn't know you know, I was like this is there's very, I mean we were all in like a state of like shock and panic just from the first time that he had OD'ed you know. And then we were all like being incredibly careful. I mean we didn't think that he would even like take it to that place again you know. I had to go away for work, he went away to Mexico with my Mom, came back, we sort of had like a little argument because I got really like sort of strict with him and I drew the line and got really kind of like angry and stuff. And erm, and then we like made up, and like it's really odd because he seemed like, in moments he would seem really happy, in other moments he would seem really like sad. But it's really odd because all of this like happened in such a condensed short period of time. He wasn't taking drugs for more than like six months and then like everything happened within like two or three weeks or something, so it was like such a short period of time that like all of this was going on, and the reason why we were all so like, desperately worried about him as well was because of his illness. We knew that his body, the doctors were like "his body can't take this kind of abuse to himself", you know. He knew that as well but you know I guess you kind of like you're 21, you're 20 and you think you're like invincible. I think he thought like at that point you know he was like strong and he could handle it and stuff like that. I don't know, I think drugs can like alter your like sort of state of mind so much to the point where you don't really know like what is right or what is wrong, you can totally believe that something is right but in reality if you like talk to any other sane person they'll tell you that it's wrong. But like you're like, your mind is so confused and you're in this place where you think that you're right and everything you think is right or something, you know.
Because not many people know about all this, partly because he didn't want to blow his cool.
Yeah, that's the thing is that he was like totally cool and he totally didn't like ever let anyone see like him like blowing his cool or anything like that, you know. I think like you know, he did keep a lot of things inside and stuff, he kept a lot of things inside, but like people knew about his illness and stuff you know but like he never like let it get him down, like it never, he never let it stop him from doing something, you know. People never knew but I think the illness was getting him to a certain point, you know he would like get more tired even though he would never show people that he was more tired, like when he was snowboarding or skating, but he would be, and his bones would hurt every once in a while and stuff. And I think it must have been like, like a really intense like psychological like thing to like know that like you're, you have this thing and that you're not like completely normal. I mean he's totally normal like, you know but health wise he wasn't but like spirit wise, he was more normal and more beautiful than like anybody that you could you know. You would see him and you would fall in love with him, you'd think nothing was wrong with this kid, he was like so happy and so alive, and so like, energetic and so charismatic and like everything, and so talented. But you know down, deep, all he had a lot of information about his illness that like he knew from his hospital,. You know he would go to the hospital on his own, he had his own relationship with the doctors, where he knew all the really like heavy things about your life, that you might not live until a certain age and all your friends that have the same illness or like dying around your age of 22, 22, and you know your bones hurt and this and like you can never really be like, and the thing about him is that like he so badly wanted to be like everyone else, like normal, like a normal kid, you know. He was always like smaller and younger looking and that was the thing that really would upset him being like young looking, that he was like 20 years old and he looked like he was like 16 years old, you know. And that would really get him you know and he was like, you know sort of like down deep he was, you know, he had a lot, a lot of like really heavy stuff to deal with. And I think that's what like partly made him like you know the beautiful person that he was, like he really would like be able to like see into people and stuff because he had like such an awareness of life and the worth of life you know, stuff like that.
So in the end I mean it sounds like it was just an incredibly tragic accident, there was no, there was no, there was no...
Yeah, I mean it was just a really tragic accident and you know, it's like, I mean as you know, if he would have just gotten over this like one little like hump... like I think a lot of the whole like thing, was tied into like the fact that he was breaking up with his girlfriend and that he was really down about it. If he would just have gotten over this one little bit... when we got the autopsy back from, from, Davide had like such a little like, like amount of heroin in him and like no-one would have died from that. It was so little, the amount of heroin that he had in him, and it was just like the worst thing, like the worst thing ever, like the accident was like the whole way, everything it all happened, you know, it was like, just like disgusting.
How did the media portray him?
Umm I really like to refuse to pay attention to a lot of this stuff because you know like media always portrays things in the way they want to see it in the way that it's like you well like it's sensational or a story or this or that and of course they liked picked up on Davide and his death and then they picked up a couple of pictures, and then they turned into this like whole heroin chic, and now you know the whole big scene about it. And you know everyone, like everyone, took advantage of the moment to, to get some, something to get a story out of something. Like build something that was totally like not the way it was you know. And that's, that's why I like refuse to you know, read a lot of the articles and like this, you know this is the first interview and stuff and I'm not going to do anything else and the reason I'm doing this is because you know it's totally disgusting how my brother's name has been like totally, he's been totally misunderstood. And you know, people like just take advantage.
In a way do you think his inspiration lives on in, in what his friends are doing?
Oh so much, so much, so many of his friends are like sort of like taken like a total like u-turn in their lives and like you know, doing so like really being really positive in their attitude and in their lifestyles and in their ways and, even so many of my friends. I mean like so many people have been affected by Davide one way or another, you don't even realise it. He's, like he's shone light on so many people, like my friends, his own friends, you know, people that we don't even know. They like know about him, friends that we didn't even know he had. I mean you know, people really got a lot out of him, a lot of positive. You know Davide gave you sort of like the feeling that anything could be possible.
i'm almost ready..
thanks very much for this thread sethii
i remember starting an individual thread for mario quite some time ago but at that stage it was merged into the sorrenti family thread....while there is a traditional of talented photographers in the family, i feel that mario has the highest profile and it makes sense to give him an individual thread...personally i like to be able to come to one thread and find all his photography, rather than sifting through that of others too...and if we want other sorrenti family works, we can go to the family thread...i think some others feel this way too actually...
so thanks for all the editorials....i particularly love the one with daria..
That's who you wanna go in the woods with, right?
Somebody who finishes your sentences for you
thanks robot for the editorial (cute lingerie story...) and the article especially.....
it's interesting to read about Davide.... I think it's the first time i'm reading something from Mario about his bro'.....
and it's fun because i always thought Davide "invented" the heroin chic.... but no actually he just got into the vibe.....
anyway... just one point : now that Sorrenti has his own thread, i think this article can also be posted in the Sorrenti Family (is this one still exist????) thread????
|mario, photographer, sorrenti|