JONATHAN CHERRY: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
STEFANO MARCHIONINI: Two slices of brioche with fig confiture and a glass of milk.
JC: Are there any emerging photographers who are inspiring your practice at the moment?
SM: Jen Davis, Bobby Doherty, Aaron Fowler, Traci Matlock, Erin Jane Nelson, Giulia Nomis, Jan Postma, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Rafael Soldi, Jim Verburg, Davin Youngs. Everyone for different reasons.
JC: Who are your photography heroes?
SM: I’m thinking about the Nan Goldin from the 90’s, The Devil’s Playground is a masterpiece, and Willy Ronis, who is just endlessy inspiring.
JC: How highly do you value the actual experience of photographing?
SM: I like how it depends on the moment, sometimes you can be very excited while taking pictures and other times the experience is more relaxed or even boring. And the result doesn’t always depend on the amount of excitement you felt when you were shooting. Sometimes you forget the pictures you’ve taken, and when they come up to you there’s this magic moment when you finally see what you saw that day, and then you think “I’m lucky I took this picture even if I was bored as hell!”. Working on snapshots and diary like photographs one has to never feel tired to take a picture.
JC: What is your current project all about?
SM: I tend to build my work around the places where I live and the people that I know and that is a process that usually takes place just after an intense period of shooting. Most of my series are long-time projects and I keep adding photos as the years go by.
JC: What is in store for you photographically over the next 6 months?
SM: I hope to be able to finish the book project I’m working on with my boyfriend Vivien Ayroles, who’s also a photographer.
JC: In your opinion what makes a successful portrait?
SM: The right balance between honesty and fiction, the fact that the portrait has to say something about the person who’s been portrayed, as well as something about the photographer, since I do think that a portrait is in some way a photographer’s autoportrait. And it really has to talk to the viewer, whether he’s aware of who this person is or not. It has to be personal and universal at the same time. Quite difficult I must say!