Stefano Marchionini, born in 1985 in Verbania, Italy, on the Lake Maggiore. At 19 he moved to Venice where he graduated in painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, in 2008.
Then he moved to the South of France with his boyfriend, Vivien Ayroles, who is also a photographer. Stefano studied French and later he moved to Paris, in 2010, where he still lives and where he works and studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. He recently got his bachelor’s degree, presenting the “La jeune fille et l’enfant” project as well as several photography books, and after the summer he’ll start his fourth year there.
KALTBLUT: As a photographer how important is colour to you and why?
Stefano: Colour is really important to me but I guess I’m more interested in shapes and structure, and composition in general. Colour and light can be the things that make me decide to take a picture or not, they are both decisive factors and they are not fully predictable or to be decided in advance, at least for the kind of photography I’m doing at the moment.
KALTBLUT: What is your main inspiration?
Stefano: In photography, inspiration comes from my everyday life as well as from things that are unrelated to it. I tend to photograph every thing that happens in my life but I also like to work on projects that are not based on my personal experiences. Literature can be a wonderful source of inspiration: in the last two years I worked on a project based on a text, “La jeune fille et l’enfant”(www.stefanomarchionini.com/lajeunefilleetlenfant.html), by the French writer Marguerite Duras. It was the first time I did something like that, and whether the project itself is accomplished or not I’m really happy about the fact that I felt challenged in a constructive and positive way and this pushed me to be more ambitious and to work hard for future projects.
KALTBLUT: How has photography helped you document your life?
Stefano: Photography has helped me to document moments or images, collected through the pictures I took all over the years, but that doesn’t mean that is the reason why I am a photographer. I don’t believe that the photos can replace the reality of what happens around me, or the memory of it. I do think that they can arise from it and become something completely different, something that is no longer linked to my person but that can speak to someone else.
Stefano: It is different but exciting in a very similar way. If I photograph a person or a place that I’m familiar with, what happens is that there is a pleasure caused by the connection I can feel with the “subject” of my photo. The excitement I can feel in front of somebody or something that is new to me it is also caused by the need to connect with it, by hoping that after that, once the photos are taken, there will be a new or a different understanding. It can be something that happens really quickly or something you have to earn.
Interview by Emma E. K. Jones