Several months back, I was interviewed by an Italian magazine called Kult for a feature and I wanted to share it here... (click the images to see the spreads and interview in Italian; english translation below!)
"I was almost late to work this morning because I was in bed dreaming about how I was late to work" is the title of your first Italian solo exhibition at Mondo Bizzarro Gallery Rome. It’s also a line of one of your poems. What is the connection between photography and poetry? Poetry and photography are simply the two most meaningful ways I attempt to express myself. Sometimes I gravitate toward photography, sometimes poetry or writing. Occasionally the two mediums coalesce and create a new means to render whatever’s going on inside me. Both are therapeutic in various different ways and I couldn't live without either one.
How was your collaboration with the Roman Gallery born? I met Mr. Morgante, the owner of Mondo Bizzarro online more than ten years ago. I believe he might have found me on the website DeviantArt and we managed to stay in touch throughout the years. When he offered me my first Rome show in 2010, I think I keeled over in ridiculous enthusiasm! It’s a beautiful gallery and I was lucky enough to attend the opening. Sometimes I have trouble believing my good fortune. Sometimes life kicks you when you’re down and sometimes there’s a pot of gold at the end of a beautiful rainbow. Dario has been one of the single-most supportive people I've met in the art world. He's easily my beautiful rainbow.
Your pictures - exotic, erotic, playful and surreal – seem to show the irreverent beauty of a “minor” America. Is it true? How are they born? I’ve always been drawn to the darker side of life. But I’ve also always found hidden beauty in those dim recesses. It could be something hard-wired in me from birth. It could be some of the more difficult experiences that were thrust upon me growing up. Most likely, it’s the combination of the two. I’ve always truly valued any difficulty or tragedy I’ve endured because I believe it gives me a respect and appreciation for life I wouldn’t otherwise have. It also gives me a greater capacity for love and happiness. The human experience is such an eclectic one. Dark can be light, pain can be comforting, ugly can be beautiful. You have to have x-ray vision in a way. You have to carefully peel away the layers of wear and deprivation to fully admire and appreciate the WHY. To me, a scarred person is a wise one, an understanding one, an empathetic one and a beautiful one. There’s a depth in darkness that simply doesn’t exist in the light.
Which are the subjects that you prefer to photograph? I prefer to shoot women and I prefer they be my friends. I have had the tendency to be rather shy my entire life and have a hard time relaxing around strangers or conveying to them exactly what I want. I have a rapport with people close to me that I can’t achieve with a stranger. The close relationships in my life are invaluable and the accompanying trust even more so. And I think that shows in the end result.
Which are your favourite photographers? I’ve always admired Chas Ray Krider, Natacha Merritt, Guy Bourdin, David LaChapelle and I'm a latecomer to the Corwin Prescott fan base. What’s your relation with fame? Fame and I are generally strangers that have bumped into each other at an occasional party or two, an abandoned Georgia gas station, a nightclub, a backyard barbecue. She's exceedingly beautiful and people seem to be drawn to her like flies to honey but I have no desire for a closer relationship with her. Fame, from what I understand, is fickle, shallow and superficial. I also value my privacy and anonymity. To be completely transparent, it's exciting in a humbly proud kind of way to be recognized or to say my name to someone and they know who I am but it doesn't happen often and I think that if it did, it would cease to be nearly as magical. I'm quite satisfied with my current relationship with fame.