He's already shot editorials for some of the top magazines, but with his distinctive style, searing eroticism, pop art sensibilities and sometimes eccentric art direction in broad hommages to bygone eras and cinema, Australian based Elvis Di Fazio is definitely an auteur of the fashion photography genre. I've been following Di Fazio's creative endeavors over the past five years and it is certainly fascinating watching the evolution of an artist. Studied in the art of silkscreening, I first spotted some of Di Fazio's early prints. The designs were original and genuine only because the influences were blatant, without being blindly derivative –indicative of an artist with a voice searching for a voice. And what you will learn in the following interview is that it was these exact influences that tangentially pushed Di Fazio, fatefully, into photography. With Diaries of Smutographer – a blog showcasing Di Fazio's more deviant editorials the photographer fashions himself the identity of a playboy – sexually omnivorous, but slanting more towards the homoerotic, the Diaries, combining photography and video, are a provocative, orgiastic exploration of human sexuality. Demand for Elvis Di Fazio is high these days and the chances of getting an interview are thin, but thankfully he answered a few of our questions.
Can you remember the first image you ever took?Hmmm no I wish I could but I can’t, if I were to guess it was a family picnic and I was using my dads camera.
What brought you to photography? To be honest I have such a love for the arts but I don’t have the patience to start a project from scratch, being able to tell a story through photography was a natural progression after several years studying fine arts and working with slow working mediums like oil on canvas. In my course I majored in silkscreen painting where I would re-work the existing, de-collages of images lifted from old fashion magazines from the 50’s / 60’s family portraits, bed sheets, impasto jel, household paints from the hardware were amongst my favourite mediums for my art at the time. After being questioned by one of my art teachers about the originality of my work and why I didn’t use my own images to screen print I took that on as a challenge and taught myself how to perform some dramatic looks through hair and makeup and styled my own shoots featuring friends, relos and street cast strangers which would sit for me while I turned them into fictional characters to be used in my New works of art. (you can see these on my website under old-world). I got so good at the photography element that I dropped the screen-printing all together.
Can you tell us a little bit about Diaries of a Smutographer? Well, I’m kinda obsessed with sex and sex culture. It was only a matter of time until people were gonna be like that’s not fashion or art, that’s just smut… so I beat them to it. If I was going to create erotica and use the fashion world as a platform there was no point playing it safe (for my blog anyways.) Creating the blog “diaries of a smutographer” was a way I could be true to myself with out scaring potential advertising clients. Girls gotta make the money, you know what im sayin?
What's one thing you've never told anyone before? Zooomagadoo do kee…. I know I’ve never told anyone that before because I just made that up then.
On your website you say that there is "no better combo than sex and humor" - can you elaborate on that? There’s no better combo then sex and humour “for me” sex and humor takes you far far away from your problems and stresses of life but it makes you feel so alive at the same time. If you can mix them together what a recipe for FUCK-YEH!
Any one thing exciting that you're working on now? Well I’m obsessed with these second generation Lebanese kids that invade our Sydney beaches during the summer. They live on the outskirts in the western suburbs, they have the most amazing mullets and a very unique way of dressing that is KINDA like a London chav but not at all. You can’t find any pictures of these guys but f you could you would see why I find them so fascinating. They seem to have a bad wrap in our society so If I could create something beautiful from that it would bring me a lot of joy. So right now I’m shooting stories that create humorous parodies of these characters that I’m sure they can laugh with too because I have no interest in making them a brunt of a bad joke.
What's next? Well summers around the corner so…. Maybe this project with the Lebanese kids?