Who are you?
I’m Paco Pennino, I’m a videographer and photographer. I come from Naples, Italy and I’ve been living in Berlin for almost 5 years now. I've studied a Master’s degree in Cinema, Theater and Digital studies at Sapienza University of Rome.
My aim has always been to be a filmmaking director. I see the director role as the pillar of the concept and the refiner of all the artists involved within a project. This is the reason I tried to get to know as much as possible in many fields, in order to dialogue as a peer with an actor, a writer, a technician, a musician… I started to be more involved in the photography field mainly because of technical reasons, as I wanted to study lights and settings. But then I found out what it could give me as specific art. Having by my side my little friend Canon 700D definitely helped me to go into everyday photography. And I couldn’t live without the 35mm lens that gives me the cinematographic look that I love.
I understand photography as an observation of reality. I'm a shy and introverted person, but in the process of taking photos I really need to look deep at my subject and express myself through it. It’s somehow therapeutic.
What type of photography are you interested in?
I love to photograph people: portraits, body, nudity… Showing the intimate feelings that come from the inside. My source of inspiration depends on many different things. Sometimes I would try to combine a concept that I took from a book with either the flow of a song or a quote from someone.
Luckily, working in the NGO’s fields has allowed me to meet many different people from diverse parts of the world. So I would say that listening to the people and interpreting their stories is a great source of inspiration for me.
What’s the story behind the winning architecture picture?
The photo is all built around the graffiti BORING 2021. It was a cold snowy day and that detail captured my attention. It was perfectly combined with (in my opinion) the boring geometry of the building behind. I thought the two elements together had something to say and perfectly represented my feelings in that moment.
As a fun fact, I have to admit architecture photography has never been a strong interest for me. I feel like that unique building or scenery is there waiting to be found, and you need to have the right eyes and sensitivity to find it, together with all the composition work of the artist. But I’m definitely an absent mind walker, most of the time the surrounding just passes around without me noticing. Still there are exceptions where there is a detail that touches my feelings, as this was the case.
What’s your current plan?
I recently created a photography project with my friend and colleague Mariagrazia Riccio, called Berliner Bathrooms. Obviously it is in standby at the moment because of covid-19, but I’m hopeful to start again soon. The concept is very easy: it’s a daily photography project. I go to someone’s place without any preparation, any idea in mind, and I ask them to show me what’s behind the door of their bathroom. It is a place where we are separated from society and our true self. It’s a place where we express ourselves without judgements: maybe weird, maybe exhibitionist or maybe melancholic.
I hope 2021 will be a year full of projects and positive changes. I’ve suffered a lot during the tough 2020, like anyone else. It’s hard to say, but in five years I hope we could all meet at my art studio. Who knows, maybe it will happen.
I hope this year will bring out all the creative energy that Berlin and I have been storing.