Corinne Day

Me after the doctor told me I had a brain tumor Bellvue Hospital New York 1996”

Corinne Day is a British photographer born in London, 1965. Day made a strong impact with her style and perception of photography in the early 1990s. Day is a self-taught photographer, with a hard edged style in fashion photography. Day harnessed biographical metaphors through some of her work. Day was raised by her grandmother. Creativity became a very fluid constituent as she had inspiring artists surrounding her who taught and introduced her to the creative outlet that she spent the rest of her career in. During her lifetime she would always admire documentary and environmental portraiture themes which inspired and became her own style. Day enabled a whole new level of genre. Day achieved many wonderful objectives through conducting long and close relationships with many of her sitters, ultimately commenced the sitters personality which lend to candid and intimate portraits.

In the 1990s Day became known for her grunge aesthetic in lifestyle and fashion. This style then became popular and grew into an international style. The concept of her style is a documentary impression that should cause slight discomfort.

Day left school at sixteen, she tried out a few careers, including modelling, she worked as a catalogue model for all sorts of magazines, some even international. Day then became disheartened and felt that because she was an unorthodox beauty and almost too mundane to be the face of vogue. Day saw other models which changed her perception of beauty and started photographing them in a mundane documentary style journal format. In this period she met her soon to be husband Mark Szaszy. It was Szaszy who was responsible for teaching Day the art of photography as his career is film directing.

Day’s grunge style shortly took the attention of The Face magazine who then commissioned a fashion shoot. As Day had to source a model, it was in this time that she came across the now famous Kate Moss which Day lead Kate to her successes. Day became impenitent about her style. “Photography is getting as close as you can to real life, showing us things we don’t normally see. These are people’s most intimate moments, and sometimes intimacy is sad.” Photography was her extension of expression, and she used it to have great depth but it was also something she felt she shouldn’t be judged upon. The media however liked to judge her grunge style which lead her to feel dissatisfied with the commercial world though she returned to fashion after she released her book. Day spent many years photographing images for her first book ‘Diary’ (2000), The book features everyday normalities, relationships, drugs, nudity and sex. The book pays visual homage to Day’s life in the 1990s and her personality through this time and all with her grunge style. The book is desolate in nature, heart-warmingly personal but most of all has many intimate whimsical tendencies.

“Good friends make you face the truth about yourself and you do the same for them, as painful, or as pleasurable, as the truth may be.”

In 1996 Day collapsed and was taken to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Day insisted her husband Mark should record all the events following this. One of these images is above, I feel the intense depth of this image is genius and it literally feels like a journal but also personal and almost unheard of for this time as it’s so raw and there’s no Hollywood glamour about the image. You get to feel that you’re going on the journey with her and feel like a close friend and understand her emotions and real record of events. Unfortunately in 2009 it was found that day had another brain tumour and sadly died in 2010 as a result it.

I feel incredibly inspired by Day as she embraced a new style and though she had been highly criticised for it she never lost her faith in the style eventually it brought her much success. I feel she’s incredibly inspiring in many ways, essentially the work takes you to an entirely fresh level of personality creation. She managed to capture so many personality components even though it appears such mundane subject matter, but ultimately the way of life is transfused though the images and therefore it creates a relatable aspect for the viewer. The viewer is able to fit themselves into the work. It’s a beautiful memory of the 90s and it’s a beautiful memory of Day’s life especially as she so tragically passed away. In the particular image above it resonates with me on another level due to haunting feel of the image and the news that had just been relayed to her by her doctor her expression transforms this image into a profoundly deep and meaningful capture. The title “Me after the doctor told me I had a brain tumor Bellvue Hospital New York 1996” evokes empathetic feelings  and reminds me of the feelings induced by my own diagnosis and will for anyone else who has had similar experiences. I feel that the journey within this book of these events and the way that they’re captured in such a raw and candid way really conveys the poignant message of how events are unfolding and are provoking a reaction. I feel that I should take elements from this work and recreate the raw and candid tendencies as it itself creates a metaphoric view that is dramatic to look at. I would also like to put text with image much like Day has as this ultimately creates a huge impact on the photographic image portrayed.


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