A NEW IDENTITYI met Alessio Lorusso for the first time almost a year ago. I was taking pictures during a boxing match and Alessio was in the audience. From the moment I saw him my eyes get caught. My first impression was fear because his fame preceded him. Someone told me he was a savage boxer and an even more wicked human being, and that he was always with a rabid dog and a friend even more wild than him. Although I was familiar with boxers I was scared of asking Alessio to pose for me. We organized to meet several times and every time he didn't show up. He disappeared few days, then apologize and again, give me a stand up. After a couple of months it was he who asked me to photograph him. «I will also bring my friend Diego and my dog, Floyd. Is that okay?» I was so scared to go meet him and his infamous dog and friend that I warned my best friend. «If you do not hear me in a couple of hours, call me». Since that day I, Alessio, Diego and Floyd have become a sort of family. Photographing them assiduously over the months made me reflect on the fact that my fear of approaching them was due to their fear to show me their real nature. Their angry appearance is a mask, a way to express themselves. As if by covering their face people could not see their fragility. They want to erase their identity to express the rage they have inside. A sort of a new identity. They never had a father figure. Diego was raised by his grandparents. After some bad adventure made of drugs, fights and crime he is on probation right now. «I've never seen my father sober in my life» told me Alessio after we became friends. For about three years he worked as a night taxi driver for prostitutes and transsexuals. «They gave me ten euros each way. I take them to the client and waited to bring them back home. I made a lot of money but I was really going down». Boxing saved him. Today he is clean and he trains every day. He’s 22. He dreams to become a champion of his category. (2017 - ongoing)
The project A New Identity has been selected by Amy Arbus for a group show named Portrait: Image and Identity at the Black Box Gallery, Portland, and by Nadine Wietlisback for an online exhibition in the Guest Room by Der Greif.