Lee and JuiceDerrek Santini
I met Lee through our dogs… not in the park but in the birth…Juice was born of a litter of 11 sired by the irrepressible and most beautiful Bonnie the magnificent Bull Terrier. As was Lily my pick of the litter, the deal with Darren, Bonnie’s lucky dad, for my assistance in bringing them into the world, at my studio in Dalston about twenty years ago.
All the puppies went to lovely homes with devoted parents, Lee and Katie England were two such lucky benefactors. ID was doing a Family special and I pitched the idea of doing a story of all the pups with their newly adopted parents, like a doggy / human family tree, so this series of images came into being as Juice’s portrait with Lee.
Lee as we all know was one of the most gifted and visionary artists in living memory. Such a powerful light and heart what an incredible star to behold, and to be, it’s very lonely up there…He was indeed the most private of person and lived as if to just create, right up to the day he left us behind, and Juice, who would have been there, right by his side…Dogs have a very special and unique place for us humans, especially for folk who struggle with Life. Sometimes they are the only beings some people can truly relate too, so forming a bond as deep as in any human relationship and beyond in the fact they will Never ever let you down.
Dogs are pure, with no stigma or judgment, only loyalty, companionship and lots and lots of fun… LOVE The day we shot these images on Lee’s roof in Shoreditch, he was just like any normal young man, mucking about with his dog on a sunny day. It was the happiest I ever saw Lee, so innocent and free, and totally absorbed in the moment.
This, my own beautiful memory of Lee, and of course Juice, who with Lily, all the little Bullies, and the other Beautiful People, who are now all frolicking about on some other roof top in the sky.