Having arrived at a sweet spot in his career as a fashion photographer, Mario Sorrenti has done just what he is not supposed to do. Instead of assembling a luxe volume of pretty pictures of pretty women in pretty clothes, the 41-year-old Sorrenti is publishingDraw Blood for Proof
(Steidldangin), a feral, inexhaustible book of images, thrice removed from their original source: It's actually a one-to-one-scale reproduction of a 2004 gallery show in which he exhibited collages of various pictures he shot in his twenties—along with scribbled notes, portraits both formal and casual, tear sheets of other people's work, and, here and there, images from his own commercial work. The result is a book very much reflective of its maker: emotional, funny, boundlessly energetic, both raunchy and courtly, sophisticated, affectionate, enthusiastic, naïve, and excitable.
I've met Sorrenti just once, about a year ago, when I was asked to contribute a piece of writing to the book. But I feel like I've known him all my life. This conversation took place over the phone. I was at my home in Austin, Texas. I have no idea where he was.