Davide Sorrenti's polaroids give a new look inside his world
A new collection from the late photographer's archive is out today.
Last year, a slate of retrospectives — in the form of a book, a film and an exhibition — brought clarity to the life and work of photographer Davide Sorrenti. Having spent almost two decades mythologised and, in many cases misunderstood, in the wake of his untimely death aged 20, his family began the long and difficult process of archiving and publishing his photography.
“The reason that it was so hard to work through Dave’s archives is that I knew it so well and the memories were just there to live all over again,” Francesca Sorrenti, his mother, told us last year. “Davide and I had a very unusual relationship — we were very attached, what with him being ill and needing my constant support.”
Two decades on, Davide’s work continues to feel groundbreaking, and his spontaneous, unvarnished imagery — whether in fashion editorials or candid moments at home — deserves far more than just existing as a footnote in the study of the prevalence of heroin chic in the 90s.
A new book, Davide Sorrenti Polaroids, only further asserts his brilliance. A simple, inflexible format, in Davide’s hands the Polaroid camera still gives way to deep and moving colours, intimacy and candour mixed with raucous energy. From the rooftops on New York to the quiet of his bed, these images offer another glimmer into a world that feels like it belonged him and his friends alone.
“The way Davide captured his lifestyle with his friends always intrigued me,” Francesca said. “He would be hanging out in his room in our loft with a bunch of friends, laying on the couch discussing, shouting, laughing and he’d have his camera and be clicking very unobtrusively. I never heard him say, ‘Stand still I want to take this picture.’”
‘Polaroids Davide Sorrenti, 1994 - 1997’ is available to purchase here and from Dover Street Market.
All images courtesy IDEA