Conversation with Photographer Mickey Aloisio
Tell me about what initially attracted you to photography?
I think I was initially attracted to photography through skateboarding when I was younger. I had a friend who would always take photos of us and make skate montages. I remember thinking how cool it was that he, unlike all the others, had the chance to create something more out of skateboarding, how for him, the act served two purposes. From there, I was interested in seeing what I could create out of my own experiences.
Whose work inspires you the most right now?
Right now I think I’m most inspired by Jimmy Desana. I bought his book Suburban, released by aperture at the Moma PS1 book fair in 2016. At the time I wasn’t quite sure what attracted me so much to the work. But seeing how my work has been evolving since, I find it that it has been an encouraging push to be more free with the amount of experimentation within my portraits. Examining his usage of found objects within domestic spaces in relation with his subjects, I have been more reliant on props and incorporating the space with each subject in a more humorous and less typical or standard way. I’m as well constantly inspired by countless peers and other contemporary photographers and artists dealing with queer culture of todays world.
Can you tell me about the photo series you shared with us?
So the series I shared with you is the outcome of a trip where I spent two months traveling through Europe. It kind of turned into this quest of self identity through creating self-portraits alongside other queer men I met along the way. I think each portrait was an opportunity to experience someone and the chemistry or tension between us that felt very authentic and genuine. Each portrait, or even each situation within a shoot felt very different than the other. It was a lot about responding to each-other, a lot of giving and taking and assertion and submission, reversed and accepted between two strangers. Each shoot was a bit of a performance where both parties involved walked away learning a little bit more about themselves.
What do you hope your work makes people feel?
It’s hard to say what I hope people feel when they look at my work but what I can say is that I try to create a situation which provides a narrative that leaves interpretation open for the viewer. My work is a lot about suggestion or mystery, ‘what really went on in those moments in between each photograph?’, ‘Why this?’ or, ‘How’d they come to this?’, ‘Who’s who in these photographs?”, and ’How does sexuality, desire, or longing fit into these characters or situations?’ I hope overall the work speaks about human connectivity and that it leaves the viewer with a feeling of wonderment or amusement in the lives or personalities of those involved.
Can you share some details about your process?
A lot of my process is very spontaneous. I usually come into someone’s space, completely new to me, and based on what’s provided within the space, I start the process of trial and error. Positioning of the model, or model and I, and the objects that we interact with, or situations we decide to create or enact, are all a part of an experience where we together create something specific for each photograph. Humor, personality, and trust all play a large part in the outcome of each photograph. Not knowing what to expect before hand, and not knowing how to create the moment again in the future. As far as technically, the camera becomes detached from my myself, leaving there to be three entities in the room. The model, myself, and the tripod supported camera on a timer. Creating a void between subject and I and camera, ultimately allowing us to be less restricted by an otherwise very obvious presence of the camera.
What projects are you planning? What's on the horizon?
Currently, I’m working on an couple new editorial projects that should be released in September. I’m also having my first solo show in New York this December at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art - Prince Street Project Space. I plan on showing much of my Europe work as well as some of my work from the previous years. Very excited to see how it all comes together.