What was the genesis of this father-daughter collaboration?
Gray: As a child, I suffered from a fairly severe eczema. My parents were looking for solutions to soothe my skin, but nothing really worked. Until I got hold of my mother's sea cream, the only remedy that soothed my irritation. I was delighted to be able to work alongside my father on this project.
Mario: My wife, Mary, and I discovered cream La Mer fifteen years ago during one of our trips, and it quickly became one of our essentials. When the brand contacted us, we were absolutely delighted because this product is part of our family history.
What were your major inspirations for this ambitious project?
Mario: The aquatic element nourished our common imagination. I grew up on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in Naples, the sea reminds me of my childhood memories. The ocean has become one of the pillars of our family routines. My children were raised in New York, so we want to build parentheses out of the city in the most natural and preserved environment. The philosophy of La Mer and its connection to the ocean are very similar to the way our family lives.
Gray: The ocean, one of my first childhood memories. The feeling of floating surrounded by my mother, my father and my brother, this love triangle that appeased me and made me feel good.
Can you tell us more about the steps in your creative process?
Mario: Part of the campaign was shot in Spain and the other in St. Barthelemy, two destinations closely linked to our family life. We have often traveled with children since they were small, it seemed natural to reconnect with these places that bind us. We spent the month of August in Spain together, exploring different places. We then determined the lights that seemed best suited, and decided on a rather abstract and universal aesthetic in black and white, accentuated by silhouettes, contrasts. Gray is a model, but she seems to follow Mario's path in photography and filmmaking.
How did this artistic transmission take place, and how does it translate into everyday life?
Gray: I grew up in an artistic universe that I was able to observe throughout my young life. I always knew that I wanted to be a photographer, my father did not influence me. It came to me naturally, I became familiar with a device he had offered me and I was caught in a kind of frenzy. During my high school years, I spent hours in his dark room, and my love of photography evolved parallel to his. We have in common this faculty to connect to us in a pure way. We create one image, but the other helps shape it with us. We share this ability to read the emotions of others naturally. That's the education he received, and that's how he raised me.
Mario: Our respective approaches are very different. Gray's work is very spontaneous and intuitive, when my works can sometimes seem very much studied. I am very inspired by his energy, his curiosity. What brings us together is above all the passion that drives us, and the emotion we transmit through our shots.