ERIN WASSON & DAVID QUADRINI

ERIN WASSON & DAVID QUADRINI

FADE IN:

EXT. ERIN WASSON’S HOME, VENICE, CALIFORNIA — EARLY EVENING

Amber light glows from inside ERIN WASSONS’s Spanish-style house, which is tucked away on a gated plot off one of Venice’s narrow walk streets. A massive, embellished wood front door hangs open, offering a peek of a well-appointed living room. The sound of smooth jazz echoes softly in the air.

CUT TO:

INT. ERIN WASSON’S LIVING ROOM, VENICE, CALIFORNIA – MINUTES LATER

ERIN and DAVID QUADRINI sit next to one another in mismatched leather chairs. ERIN grabs a pack of American Spirits from a coffee table beside her, and pulls out a cigarette. She lights it, takes a drag, and slowly exhales a trail of smoke.

ERIN
You were the one who convinced me to go to New York City, when I was 17 years old. We were living in what was — for lack of a better term — our version of Warhol’s Factory, in Dallas.

DAVID
It was basically a collective: there were five or so studios above a gallery that I opened in 1994 to give my friends a place to show. Artists and curators were coming through constantly. At one point, a band recorded an album for Geffen Records while living there.

ERIN
I remember the coffee shop nearby, The Amsterdam Bar, where we would go to talk about life and art, or passions and frustrations. I had done a few modeling jobs, but I loved my life in Dallas; I felt like I found this world that was just so beautiful. We were sitting outside one day, and you said, ‘You have to go to New York. You have something to say that’s bigger than this.’

DAVID
As an artist, if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s forcing people to see who they are.

ERIN
You’re very good at seeing people’s potential. You knew I should take that chance and get on that plane, even when I really didn’t want to go. It was good for me. Fashion is its own art form, and as a model, what you do is an extension of someone’s artistic expression.

DAVID
I’m fascinated with fashion; it’s like a painting or photograph in that you can always identify a time and place, or what people were feeling at that moment. Like art, it’s a cultural barometer. I’m interested in that connection.

ERIN
Working as a model, you spend so much time having characters bestowed on you: each day you put on a different costume. Over time, I became a sound bite, a character in an industry. One day I was like: I don’t really want to wear the costumes, I just want to be me. I moved to California when I was 23; taking a step away allowed me to understand who I was again. And then you moved here.

DAVID
I was doing more shows with artists in Los Angeles than I was in New York, so I thought, “Oh, I want to be in L.A.” I wanted to be around what I felt was the more interesting story of art in America; Texas was part of it, so Texas and L.A. became my new life because I felt New York was kind of covered.

ERIN
It just sort of happened that we both ended up in the same place again. And then you opened Q.E.D., a gallery on La Cienega Boulevard —

DAVID
In 2005. And that ran for ten, no, five years —

ERIN
I was going to say, that was not ten years [laughs].

DAVID
Four and a half [laughs]!

ERIN
You’re such a wonderful entity in my life, not only because of the mentorship you’ve given me, but because you have a gigantic brain that can intellectualize anything. It’s nice to understand a pretty broad amount of the art world, yet not feel tied to it. My involvement is from a loving place; it’s not a press tool, like: Oh, look at me, I’m part of that crowd now.

DAVID
You have a lot of the same aesthetic responses that I do, and we come at it from very different angles. You have a natural eye; you don’t have a PhD, but it’s something you love —

ERIN
And I always have. We joke that everybody wants to be rock ‘n’ roll, but in reality they just wear the leather jacket. I liked being the dumbest person in the room when we lived in Dallas, because I was constantly absorbing information. I was intoxicated by that mentality — the most difficult thing about going to New York was leaving the artists’ community where we lived.

DAVID
I’m an artist who curates and plugs his friends. That’s what we both do; we have very different skill sets and ways of handling the world, but we connect because we’re sincere and we don’t half-ass anything.

ERIN
You are such a believer — both in me, and everyone that surrounds you. And now that I’m in my thirties and you’re in your forties, I see how you have struggles that I can mentor you through, too. At this point in our relationship, I think the definition of mentorship has shifted into —

DAVID
Something different. I feel very good about it.

ERIN
We have moments of real connection and communication — the kinds of conversations that stem from a shared understanding of humanity. It’s a cool breeze, man!

CREDITS 

Photography by Noah Jashinski

Conversation moderated byAnthony Rotunno

Erin Wasson is a model based in Los Angeles.
David Quadrini is an artist based in Los Angeles.

Did you see? At home in Silver Lake with photo agent Carol LeFlufy, illustrator Jason Polan takes The Thick Questionnaire.

THE END