Mario Sorrenti

No Trends Zone

photography Mario Sorrenti
interview Christopher Michael

 

“BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, PEOPLE HAVE FIGURED OUT THAT YOU STILL NEED DESIGNERS, AND THAT YOU STILL NEED REAL CREATIVE GENIUSES BEHIND THESE BRANDS. YOU NEED TO INVEST THE MONEY IN THEM AND YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO THEIR POINT OF VIEW IN ORDER TO HAVE A POINT OF VIEW.”

CM Having started when a lot of the references in photography were taken directly from books, magazines
or firsthand experience—before the era of Google Images, Pinterest, Tumblr and models.com archives, life what did your first influences really look like?
MS The first real interest I had in photography was around 18. Before that, I wasn’t interested at all. My mother had pushed me in that direction because her and my stepfather Steve were both working in fashion at the time and thought it could be a more commercially viable path for me than being an artist— which is what I was set on being. I didn’t care about money. But then I met this Italian girl that was actually friends with my dad and studying photography at ICP, and one night at dinner she was like “Let’s take some pictures and develop some film.” I was studying painting and sculpture at SVA at the time and thought, Why not? Let’s do it. When she showed me how to process film in the darkroom—that moment I saw the image come up,

I thought this is really amazing and quickly found myself addictedto that process which lead to my starting to take pictures. Eventually, I ended up dropping out of SVA and asked my mom if she had any connections with any agencies because I had done some modeling as a kid, and I wanted to see if she thought I could make some money doing that instead of my day job that I hated at the time. After she set up a meeting for me, I got signed and was sent out for tests and stuff to build my portfolio right away. Immediately I met Bruce Weber, I met Steven Meisel and started getting introduced to fashion photography from a perspective I had never experienced before. At the same time, I was learning about Robert Frank, Larry Clark, Sally Mann, Jimmy Goldberg and his Raised by Wolves. It was around ‘89, ‘90, ‘91—and that’s how I started getting inspired. I ended up buying Bruce Weber’s book and started
to understand photography; and fashion photography; and how there was this world between the two as well. That I thought was really interesting.

  Download MUSE America The Travel Issue to read the full interview.