She's back! Tea is no stranger to Swide and it's time to share the first publication of her new column, Talents at Tea Time, with you all. Our columnist is going to be discovering the talents of Milano for you, our readers. First up? Photographer Francesco Merlini.
I guess I missed the moment when every Twenty-Something in Milan decided to pursue Photography. Like, all at once, they went out and bought one of those trendy, vintage-y cameras and are “Real Photographers” now! And I find that super annoying! Not because I hate photographers-I love them! I love having Facebook Profile pictures by them! I love how they convince me to take my clothes off! It’s just irritating when they’re posers who spend too much time taking Party Pictures or shots of their girlfriends’ outfits for tragic “Fashion Blogs” to deserve anything more than a laugh (or a high-five, if said girlfriend’s hot). In the same way owning a sewing machine doesn’t make me Riccardo Tisci, owning a camera doesn’t make you Terry Richardson. Get Over It! Needless to say, in these troubled times, boys like Francesco Merlini are vital. Francesco is what foreign exchange girls and vacationing widows hope Italian men will be like: tall, dark and handsome, with a very thick mustache. Merlini is all that and a bag of photo skills.
Where are you from?
I was born in Aosta, a small city among Alps, but only because my mother was looking for raspberries in a forest when I decided to come out. I’ve always lived in Milan.
Describe your Dream Girl.
Not blonde, not fat, not religious…better if tall and square-jawed.
Your dream food?
Mexican food, but not the kind in Europe.
And what do you do when you aren’t seducing square-jawed girls with burritos?
I'm a photographer: I mainly do personal projects but I also work with magazines like L’Espresso, Internazionale, Gioia, Rolling Stone, Le Monde and International Herald Tribune. Two years ago I started to collaborate with Prospekt.
Do you enjoy living in Milan?
Milan is the best city in Italy for creative jobs but whenever I go to London, Paris or New York, coming back to Milan feels like landing in a poor Eastern-European city.
How’s Milan’s "art scene"?
It’s more just a "Lets Go To Get Drunk At That Opening of Something Related To Art" scene.
Best drink here?
Moscow Mule with Ginger Ale at Cape Town, near Pta. Genova.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by everything: by a dirty sidewalk to an encounter with a perfect stranger. This can happen in Milan as everywhere else.
Describe your personal photography.
Broken memories of an asymmetric truth collected in order to create a visual journey that explores mainly the theme of death, sexuality and society's formal and moral decay.
“Twilight” or “Schindler’s List”?
Well I’ve always loved movies about history and especially about Nazis. So Twilight.
Lady Gaga or Lana Del Rey?
A poker-faced lama.
What are your thoughts on the Fashion Industry?
Big money, big stress, big locations, big erections.
Do you worry Blue Ivy represents the Apocalypse?
i'm more worried about the expansion of Brangelina's child army.
What do you think of America’s Birth Control Crisis?
Well, movies like “Idiocracy” teach us that sometimes birth control could be a good idea.
Is it true that Photographers always screw their models?
My models most of the time are not young skinny girls…Maybe it's more correct to say that reportage photographers always want to fuck fashion photographers' models.
Insightful. So did you buy something from the Marni for H&M collection?
The collection sucked.
Shame on them.
For more of Francesco's work, click below
Interviewed and Written Tea Hacic-Vlahovic