Sometimes you have to let go of everything you know to find your true identity.
For Hudson NY artist and DJ, Giovanni di Mola, it meant leaving the club world of ’90s New York City where he spent his young adulthood photographing the club kids, hustlers and scene stealers of pre-Giuliani New York.
Working at Bergdorf Goodman during the day, and photographing at night, Giovanni brought a fashion photographer’s eye to the city’s wild nightlife scene – raw, intimate portraits that would later inspire his work for magazines like VICE, Italian Vogue and Time Out NY. But as the millennium came to a close, so did that chapter of his life. It was time to look beyond his comfort zone – and it was then, on a weekend getaway with friends, that he discovered the city of Hudson, New York.
Many will have heard of Hudson as the art, design and food mecca of Brooklynites everywhere. But before all the buzz, Hudson was one of many rust belt cities, waiting for its next chapter to begin. The city had gone from a whaling port in the 19th century, to a blue collar factory town, to a drug pipeline, to a progressive artist community – complete with cheap rents, craggy industrial backdrops, and stately homes left in the care of ghosts. Here you might step into an apartment with a hole in the ceiling, where bags of heroin were once dropped from floor to floor, like a makeshift dumb waiter – now reimagined as a candlelit yoga studio. It was a place that reminded you all at once that you were on the very edge of civilization, a wild frontier, where anything goes. For Giovanni it was like finding a kindred spirit – and what was meant to be a respite from a grueling work schedule became a prolific 48 hours of creative inspiration. Shortly after, Giovanni packed up his city life and boarded a train north, back to the wild frontier.
Over the next 10 years Giovanni would document a life in transition – for both him and the townspeople of Hudson. The shopkeepers, the misfits, the lovers, the vagabonds – they would all find their way in front of his lens, and now into the pages of his new limited edition artist proof book, IDENTITY, available exclusively over Indiegogo for a very short time.
All photos by Giovanni di Mola