A new Identity
I met Alessio Lorusso for the first time few months 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. His fame preceded him. Someone had 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 Brazilian friend even more complicated 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 also bring my friend Diego and my dog, Floyd. All right?»
I was so scared to go meet him and his infamous dog and friend (they live in Brianza, in the north of Milano) 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 and being somehow weak compared to them, was due to their fear of being too weak towards me. Their angry appearance is a mask. It's like if they wanted to erase their identity to express the rage they have inside. As if by covering their face people could not see fragility.
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.
«My father got drunk and then slaughtered me and my mother. I've never seen him sober in my life» says Alessio. For 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 trains every day and he dreams to become a champion of his category.