We posted about The Death of Youth a while back, the popular photo blog of Giovanni Lipari. His growing catalogue of women have begun to attract a wide audience, both curious and interested.
Lipari’s curations depict seductive scenarios, contextually embedded in hopeful reality - but in actuality are an intelligent fabrication, showcasing good storytelling, a good eye, and a thoughtful message on youth, sex, and whim. Read our interview with the mind behind The Death of Youth below.
The manner in which you photograph these women appear to be extremely personal. The hyper-sexuality, the setting, the poses…the photographs seem to be set up as after thoughts - just documenting a specific sexual encounter. Are the situations real? Do you know these women personally?
I think that there is both a personal aspect, as well as a manufactured characteristic, to these photographs. Similar to an advertisement, these pictures seek to sell a certain lifestyle. In reality, there was no sexual encounter, but the way in which the photos portray the relationship between the photographer and the model emulates a romance that shows two lovers in an intimate situation. In general, in this project I met the women immediately before I started to shoot them. Very rarely would I have any interaction with a model before they got naked. Because of this, the situations reflected in my photographs do not demonstrate the true relationship between myself and the models, but rather the fabricated lifestyle I sought to display in this series.
What was more pleasing - experiencing these fantasies as a young man, or reliving them in the contextof’DeathofYouth’?
I cannot say that I have ever personally experienced these fantasies, even during my youth. I see these photos as nothing more than a fabrication, in which I did not actively fulfill a longstanding fantasy. In reality, I did not always enjoy the production of these photographs; it was hard work. I am simply showing that this lifestyle is easily manufactured, but that it is not a reality for most people. The only individuals who experience such a hyper-sexualized way of life are certain musicians, celebrities and athletes.
Is there a specific woman that you photographed that was more compelling than the rest?
This is a difficult question for me to answer. Many of the women brought a huge part of themselves to the shoot, so it would be difficult for me to set apart one over another. I can say, however, that some of the models were extremely difficult to work with, while others were absolutely pleasant and wonderful to spend time with.
What drew you to the specific women that you photographed?
In “Death of Youth” I sought to portray a varied group of women. For this series, I was particularly interested in seeking out women with distinct characteristics and looks. In general, I found that I enjoyed photographing the women who were truly comfortable with their bodies.
Do you pay these women? Or do they participate freely in this art project?
It was about 50/50 with the models that I photographed. I never paid any of them too much money, but yes, about half of the women took home a check. However, I think that the best shoots were often with the women who really wanted to help me out for the sake of the project. I definitely appreciated the women who did this for me.
Other than the driving philosophy behindofDoY, was there anything or anyone else that influenced your work? There are some obvious similarities to Newton’s work, as well as Bourdin’s. Where they instrumental to what you do?
The men that I mentioned as having an impact on my youth, such as Hugh Hefner, Terry Richardson and Helmut Newton, all portray a certain illusion of machismo. As young men, we are told that the way that these playboys act is “cool,” and we aspire to be them. Yet, in my opinion, this archetype has been fabricated to sell ideas, products and a playboy lifestyle. By emulating this same lifestyle in this series, I have demonstrated how easily this image can be manufactured. In other words, part of the realization of this series, for me, came from deconstructing this image of the “jet-setting playboy” that had long influenced me as a young man.