The Guestbook: our interview with Simone Sapienza

Simone Sapienza is an Italian photographer who lives and works in Palermo. After graduating in Documentary Photography from the University of South Wales in Newport, Simone has received several awards, both in Italy and abroad, and has recently been selected among the twenty international artists of Foam Magazine Talent 2020.

We at asked Simone to tell us a short story through an interview, which you can find below:

How did you find out about photography?

I don’t remember. No, I didn’t find any film boxes or old analog machines in my father’s or grandfather’s closet. It’s a language that I’ve felt more and more like belonging to myself, from my early days, until I left engineering school to start studying Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales in Newport, Wales (UK).

I saw that you travelled a lot, what experience influenced you the most as an artist?

To date, certainly the three-year university experience in Newport. The British education, both from a practical and a theoretical point of view, has developed in me a deep sense of design that goes beyond the increasingly saturated storytelling.

Why did you choose to propose these images to us?

It’s a mixture of fried images made by me, taken from the Vessel EC1 projects and from the book “Charlie surfs on lotus flowers” published by AKINA; then, images of authors who have inspired me a lot at the level of method, such as Max Pinckers, Christian Patterson and Federico Clavarino. Finally, images of my daily life that go beyond being a photographer and that still give me many stimuli to believe in this profession: my wife breastfeeding our daughter Marlene; then Minimum, the work space in Palermo where together with other colleagues I take care of the curatorship of the photographic programming; finally the poster, edited by Roberto Boccaccino, of the project on Vietnam that, after being exhibited in different Italian cities and different countries, finally arrives in Palermo, Saturday, December 21, 2019 at Minimum.

What do you draw inspiration from?

The starting point is often the ambiguity of certain situations in real life. Then, after extensive multidisciplinary research, from many small stimuli that generate others, visualizing already in mind some images that I would like to look for.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m starting a new multidisciplinary series that represents the history of Sicily, with the aim of metabolizing the history of the past to reinterpret the present of the island. It’s a work I’m doing for Parallel Platform and it will be initially a pure installation work, followed by a photographic and narrative work.

Follow Simone’s take over on‘s Instagram profile!

Image by Simone Sapienza @bonsaimon, from the ongoing project “Vessel EC01”, produced in Łódź during an artistic residency organised and curated by @fotofestiwal and @futuresphotography. 
Cover of the photobook “Charlie surfs on lotus flowers” by Simone Sapienza @bonsaimon, published by @akinabooks in 2018. 
 Image by Simone Sapienza @bonsaimon, from the project “Charlie surfs on lotus flowers” about the contemporary society of Vietnam, between capitalism and Communism.
Image by Federico Clavarino @federicoclavarino, from his photobook “Italia O Italia”, published by @akinabooks in 2014.
Image by Christian Patterson @christian.patterson, from his photobook “Redheaded Peckerwood”, published by @mack_books in 2011.
Image by Max Pinckers @maxpinckers, from his photobook “Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty”, self-published in 2014.
This is my upcoming exhibition, on show at @minimum_studio from December 21st, 2019 in Palermo (Sicily, Italy). Poster by illustrator and graphic designer Roberto Boccaccino @boccaccinor. 
This is my place: Minimum @minimum_studio in Palermo, a former warehouse in Palermo open to the new languages of photography, inhabited by images, machines, prints, ideas, books and projects.
This is my family: my partner breastfeeding our daughter, Marlene.
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