At the beginning of January we met up with the Belgium-born Italian photographer Antonio Eugenio. Little did we know we were walking into a soporific day dream illuminated by the artist’s personal desires and the intimate nooks and crannies of those he photographs.
Antonio Eugenio is a London based photographer who retains a tender, breathy intimacy in his images. Enraptured by those who dare to express their differences as loudly as they please, his portraits often capture a frank vulnerability and brazen sexuality. From looks to skin, touching to style, Antonio finds beauty in those completely intransigent individuals that life rarely breeds. In his words “Whether we are talking about tattoos, style or faces: to my eyes, beauty lies in the uniqueness of things”.
The Antonio Eugenio Interview
NowUnknown – Let’s start with why? Why photography?
Antonio Eugenio – Why breathing?… It’s something that has been part of me and that has always followed me throughout my life. People need a reason to live and photography is my reason.
N – How did you know that photography is your passion?
A – I’ve always known it. I remember I was 10 when I did my first workshop in a darkroom. But I’m from a small city where deciding to be a photographer is like deciding to be… a rock star! Not many chances to succeed. So I’ve let this passion behind me for a while. But, I’ve always maintain a link with the work of visual art and images, that’s how I’ve been working as a Graphic & Web Designer. And then finally photography hit me back like a boomerang.
I like to take some time for myself, walking in a city and shooting. I always want to immortalise what my eyes see. That’s how I’ve learned photography by myself. However, I took part in different short courses about Contemporary Photography at University of Arts of London. As a self-learner, it was important for me and part of a continuous search for improvement: share my work with other photographers and submit it to the judgement of professionals and photography experts.
N – What gives you inspiration?
A – Everything around me. I like to observer people and walk in areas I don’t know. I’m inspired by uniqueness. I like to go as often as possible to see exhibitions.
N – Who gives you inspiration or inspires you?
A – Again people who are unique to me. The photographers who inspires me personally are Ryan McGinley, David Armstrong, Robert Mapplethorpe or Bruce Weber.
N – How do you create ideas from nothing?
A – It’s really random… It might be by seeing an artwork on a magazine, reading a book or watching a movie. Inspiration comes from everywhere. From a little bit a text I could start doing some search in a particular field and that’s how my idea grows up in concept.
N – Are you working on a current project ?
A – I’m actually working on a Fashion Film. It’s new for me but really exciting to work on it. I would be able to share it soon on my website SKINKED.
I’m still working on my series called ‘Stories Under My Skin’, which is about stories behind tattoos. I’ve shot a lot of tattooed guys and girls. This serie is all in black and white, really minimalist and intimist. I publish these portrait on my blog SKINKED.
N – What camera do you use?
A – When I’m travelling I’m using Fujifilm X100S. It’s a compact mirrorless camera. It’s so easy and light to travel with. It’s an elegant camera with a high-performance lens, and a great higher-definition Hybrid Viewfinder. To be short a compact camera with performance comparable to a full-frame camera. When I’m shooting on studio I’m using my Canon 70D.
N – What tip would you give ours readers that could improve their photography skills?
A – Well I would say read books about photography. There are a lot quite interesting in the Aperture Foundations. Otherwise, there is no miracle; just practise! The more you will practice, the more you will be comfortable with your camera, and more you’ll find your style and what you like to shoot.