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2009 December 9

A Moment With Sante D’Orazio

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Sante D'Orazio Sante D'Orazio
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(NEW YORK) Sante D’Orazio may be fresh from his Art Basel Miami trip, but that didn’t stop the photographer from continuing the party in New York. Last night, Milk Studios opened an exhibition of photos from D’Orazio’s new book, Barely Private, and fans like Daphne Guinness, Brian Atwood, and Matt Dillon came out to toast the man of the hour. The Daily caught up with him to chat about making his own supermodels, private parts, and his number one artist’s rule of thumb.

Tell me about the exhibit.
They’re 40 images from my new book. It’s the sister book to my very first one--my diaries and formal pictures mixed together.

What does Barely Private mean?
I allow you into my world, and I’m not shy about it. You get be a voyeur instead of me. I get to look at people’s private lives and their private parts [laughs], and I get to share it with you!

Do you have a favorite picture?
That’s a tough one. I look across the room and see that torso with the skull and I love it--it’s one of my favorites. But so’s the girl walking across the street with the devil outfit, and so is Brooke [Shields] in the headdress on the cover.

How did you pick that image for the cover?
I went through a lot of them. It’s a process of elimination. What’s more original to the time, what haven’t we done before? I tried putting a famous model on the cover and it was boring to me. Finally, the one you forgot all about shows up and it’s like, ‘Damn, why didn’t I think of that to begin with?’

Do you like shooting people that aren’t necessarily the biggest supermodels?
I used to shoot the supermodels all the time, but I don’t need it anymore. When you’re younger and starting out, you want to work with whomever is supposedly the hot thing going--that’s what everybody wants. But when you get to my stage, you create the hot new thing. They don’t have to be famous to be the hot new thing. It’s not even in the modeling field, necessarily, just photographically. It’s doesn’t mean that they’re 5’10’’ and do the runway. The girl in the torso shot might be 5’3’’ and you’d never know it.

How do you know when you want to shoot someone?
You get a vibe. You get a sense. It’s all about instinct, at the end of the day. You learn how to rely strictly on your instincts and that’s the rule. When you stop listening and you start thinking too much, you’re ruined as artist.

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