Corinne Day was born in 1965 although public records suggest 1962. She was 30 years old when she took the photograph Georgina, Brixton
Summary of an extract from ‘Diary’
-Corinne Day left school when she was 16 to become a courier to satisfy her hunger to travel.
-A photographer on a plane suggested she should be a model, so she became a fashion model.
-She met film director husband Mark Szaszy in Tokyo. He taught her how to use a camera.
‘these photographs had an intimacy and a sadness about them. There we were struggling to pay rent, living in a dump, surrounded by glamorous magazines that were so far away from our own level of living.’
-She was recommended to show Phil Bicker from FACE magazine her photographs
-Subsequently asked to take some fashion images for a spread in FACE
-Met 15 year old Kate Moss from Storm Model agency, who she shared an interest with music in Nirvana.
-Shot Kate in a number of natural locations and liked how skinny Kate was.
-Day didn’t like the amount of make up and fake environments and poses used in the eighties by models. She is famous for saying that past fashion images were more about the photographer than the person being photographed. She wanted to instill some reality.
-Corinne took her work extremely seriously.
-Photographed Kate for vogue wearing underwear in her flat. It was a casual image because she had been crying as she recently had split from her boyfriend. The media took the photographs too seriously and read much too far into what was actually there. Vogue cut Corinne as a contributor. She met Tara and Georgina Cooper.
-She shot 3 photographs of Georgina to appear in Ray Gun. This got her noticed.
-Corinne then met the band Pusherman and asked to contribute to Penthouse Magazine.
-Comments on how Nan Goldin and Larry Clark’s work is liberating.
Talking in an interview with the Guardian
It was his obsession with money, she says, that made her so indifferent to it. ‘My dad was incredibly driven by money, and I felt like I lost him to it. When I was a kid he had a big house, but I hated going there. It never felt like home. There was no love there.’
Maybe her dads obsession with money affected her outlook on life. She could have created an innate hatred for glamour, falseness and money. Nan Goldin also questioned the environment around her when her older sister died. The environment around her was false, contrary to what society and family told her all her life. Life isn’t perfect. People aren’t perfect. She was close to her sister. Corinne Day could of read glamour in this way, especially during the era in which she grew up. During this period the conservative government had privatised a lot of industries, high unemployment and social unrest. Far from the glamour and beauty masked by fashion.
‘I don’t have great cheekbones, or huge lips to pile lipstick on – it didn’t suit me. I wasn’t really a conventional beauty, I was quite plain-looking for a model. When I first saw Christy Turlington, all my hopes of ever getting on the cover of Vogue were gone. So I just made the best of it, and enjoyed it – I loved the travelling. We went to Australia, Spain, and ended up in Milan. That’s where I started to take pictures. Mark had a camera, and he taught me how to use it.’
Her subjects were other struggling models, photographed in their own clothes in the seedy hostels where they lived. ‘I started to realise that it was ambiguous, the life. Even though you’re surrounded by all this glamour, there was a lot of sadness. We couldn’t buy the clothes that we were photographed in, couldn’t afford to go out and do the things we would have liked to do as teenagers.’
Corinne met Andy Frank, a part of ‘Pusherman’ in 1994. ‘It was a great time of music, festivals, drugs, parties, music. I met Jess through Pusherman because she used to go out with Martin, the rhythm guitarist. Jess works for Vivienne Westwood. I went to the Vivienne Westwood shop opening party with Jess and thats where I met the editor of Penthouse magazine.’ Corinne was commisioned by Penthouse just before shooting Georgina, Brixton. ‘The pictures were published but the editor and Art director were sacked’ Corinne Day – Diary
‘In the beginning I thought I was shooting a rockumentary about the band Pusherman, who in the end split up because of drug problems around 1997 and left me wondering what to do next. I had introduced Corinne to the band in 1994 and she loved to photograph them and their lifestyle, so it was a natural spontaneous decision to shift focus from band to Corinne and connect her work and play with the band into a story about her photography.’ Mark Szarszy talking about Pusherman
Mark Szarszy clearly had an influence in the way Corinne took photographs. He was a documentary maker. Even his music videos for Oasis have a documentary style to them. This tour and introduction to Pusherman added another tainted, darker dimension to Corinne’s work, something we had not seen in the earlier innocent, naural photographs of Kate. Georgina, Brixton involves this new drug, grunge inspired look.
IFQ, Mai Meksawan – IFQ StaffExclusive interview with filmmaker Mark Szaszy and photographer Corinne Day
Corinne Day, Diary, November 2000, Kruse Verlag
‘I’m a photogaphy junkie’ Interview with the Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2000/sep/03/features.review7, 9/2002