Draw Blood for Proof is a vivid account of mostly the first 10 years of photographer Mario Sorrenti’s career. The more than 1,000 photographs reproduced in the book on a one-to-one scale are of snap shots, contact sheets, prints, and polaroids that originated as montages on the walls of Sorrenti’s New York loft. Where one might expect the high-gloss and Ektachrome-like finish of fashion stories that Sorrenti has published in magazines like Vogue and W, there’s instead rooftop mischief, adolescent excitement and uncertainty, love, sex, landscapes, children being born, and ghosts being remembered as people.
It’s a haptic display, a sentimental appeal to our imaginations. They are not images, but photographs, and they implore to be smelled, their sordid edges touched, burned, or treasured. Composed directly onto a wall, the lines dividing the photographs are as unclear as those that divide the people and places in them. In this sense, Draw Blood for Proof exhibits the best kind of photographic materialism. “I was shooting Polaroids all the time,” Sorrenti explains. “I was creating diaries, I was painting, I was drawing. My work was my life, and my life was my work, and there was a kind of blur between reality and what was being created.”
Draw Proof for Blood is published by steidldangin (Göttingen, 2013).