When you are far away from home, a sense of estrangement sometimes overtakes you. But being in a new and unknown place, among people who don’t speak your language, can also be a precious source of creativity and inspiration. Italian award-winning photographer Riccardo Magherini plays with this wandering feeling to create a unique style of fine art street photography. He captures faces, stories and feelings that stand out to him in composed and merged shots, anywhere from Hong Kong and Tokyo to New York and Lisbon.
How did you get into this very distinctive way of shooting?
When I visited Japan for the very first time, I experienced a beautiful feeling of estrangement. I was surrounded by an amazing new and totally unknown world, without any cultural or visual references. Photography as I then knew it just wasn’t enough to capture the wonders I felt. So, looking for a way that felt right, I started to take pictures of everything that surrounded my subjects, trying to capture all the moments I wanted to talk about. The look that those images had and the way the time overlaps over the same place was totally intriguing. They eventually became the base for my Tokyo series.
Magherini sees the world as “a sum of instants,” moments and impressions that overlap each other and merge into feelings and memories. There’s no denying that he found a way to recreate this with his photograph. Layer by layer, Magherini collects pictures as fragments of time and space, eventually suggesting a story.
The photographer tells Resource Travel he chooses his destinations based on “the emotions they can give me.” Naturally, we wondered what his favorite destination so far was, and which destinations are up next.
Throughout the years, I became more and more passionate of big cities. Their hugeness, their mood, the vibe, the smell and the noise… Everything captivates me. Streets are densely populated and unpredictable, it’s the perfect playground for eagerness.
Magherini is particularly excited about his latest BKK series. He thinks it says a lot more about people and street life than series like his Firenze or NYC series, where historical atmospheres and urban structures prevailed.
I made a base camp in Talat Noi, one of the most popular and ancient parts of Chinatown, full of mechanical workshops, food stalls and rusty second-hand car engines. This dense, noisy, lively and smoky neighborhood was the perfect choice.
The photographer has several upcoming destinations on his agenda and, for the moment, they are all Asian. Aside from that, Magherini also is involved in a totally different style of photography. Would he be able to choose one style if he had to?
That would be impossible for me. Even to separate one world from the other would be impossible. They compenetrate each other, elements constantly migrate from commercial to fine art and vice versa.
Riccardo Magherini’s fine art photography is represented by galleries in Paris, in London and in New York. He has collected awards and recognitions by international contests such as the International Photography Awards, International Aperture Awards, Prix de la Photographie Paris, and the London International Creative Competition. If you like his work, feel free to check out more on his website, or just visit, like or follow the artist on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.