Laurie Simmons

on Jimmy DeSana

An excerpt from DEAR DAVE, 25

The photographer Jimmy DeSana was my best friend, roommate, teacher and mentor. Though we’d both gone to art school, he, unlike me, had studied photography. We had twin darkrooms where he gave me printing lessons and a sense of purpose when holding a camera. DeSana died of AIDS in 1990, and as the custodian of his estate, I've had years to digest and reinterpret his images.