Interview with Italian Photographer Francesco Margaroli

The first time I saw Francesco Margaroli’s photos, I immediately fell in love with them. I don’t know if it was because of the variety of his subjects, which range from industrial architecture to simple details of everyday life, or because of the clear and simple way he presents them. Probably it was for both reasons.


Photo by Francesco Margarola


What best characterizes Francesco Margaroli as an artist is his passion for travelling, his curiosity about the world and his desire to express the way he sees that world through his camera, which he always carries with him. His personal vision of reality is shaped by the experiences he lives: his inspiration may come from a place he has visited, or from a person he has met, or from a object he has seen.

He comes from Genova, an Italian city he describes as contradictory, the same word he uses to describes himself.  He shares his insight into his hometown as an author of the Italian-language web magazine Nuok which is created by urban reporters who tell stories about the cities where they live.




Is there one project that you’ve given more attention to than the others?

I was aware of being attracted to a certain type of architecture, the kind of repetitive architecture that can be relocated from one place to another, so I called this project “Norquitecture”. It’s constantly evolving, it’s a sort of representation of this iteration. Both in digital and on film. Film is the new/old that will never die (maybe).


What was it like going to China? 

In China there are a lot of Chinese. I’m not joking: the thing that made a big impression on me were the huge masses moving around in the cities I went to: stations, squares, airports. A massive flow that stands out against the backdrop of great change and great contradictions, such as westernization. At the Beijing airport I was stopped by a new “soldier” of Chinese domestic tourism: Hard Rock T-shirt, cowboy-like hat, curious in broken English. It was almost surreal.


Francesco Margaroli


 What does photography mean to you?

A photograph is an interpretation of reality. Reality sucks? Then photography helps me to escape, to transmit, to represent.

What puts you in a creative mindset?

The word “creative” is overused, I prefer the word “create”, it sounds more like construction. A song without words, a show in a off theater, a movie sequence, the will to bring calm to what is a dizzying barrage of images. The idea is that ideas are everywhere.


Photo from Francesco Margaroli's Norquitecture photo

Little Francesco


Aside from your passport, what makes you an “Italian” photographer?

Visual culture. And a funny accent when I try to speak English.


What do you think are the best and the worst things about Italian fashion/design/
food culture?

Stereotypes. I like stereotypes.


How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?

Irony in any form. Woody Allen (not his most recent work). Whatever is politically incorrect. Conversations between drunks. Politically incorrect conversations between drunks. My friends.