Conquest By Man, Snow and Rose series, 2011, photo by Marianna Rothen

Canadian born and adopted New Yorker, Marianna is a model and photographer since 15 years. Her photographs are influenced by old movies and her models remind of the sixties and seventies divas. Marianna claims her professional achievements are yet to come, but maybe you happened to see her work for luxury lingerie house Kiki De Montparnasse with Julia Restoin Roitfeld. She exhibited with Richard Kern and George Holz, worked on the film Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and has a show going on, together with video artist Shannon Plumb, at Hendershot Gallery in New York.

Untitled, In Despair series, 2011, photo by Marianna Rothen

Could you please tell us more about your background? When did you start taking photos?
I started taking photographs in high school. I was taking a photography course and we were shooting black and white and learning basic dark room techniques. I was never very good with anything too technical, so I usually shot with the same settings and tried my creativity more with the subject. Less than a year later I began to model, from then on my education mostly came from being in front of the camera. During this time I photographed allot of the models I met at castings and those I was living with.

How do you relate to the narrative and fictional aspects of photography?
Narrative and fictional aspects are a big part of my photography. I love that with photographs you have the ability to create something in its entirety, a unique impression.

Untitled, Iannacone series, 2011, photo by Marianna Rothen

Where do you get inspiration from? What does shape your poetics?
My inspiration almost always comes from films, particularly cinema from Europe. There was a great perspective during the sixties, early seventies. I am fascinated with this type of glamour. I also like looking through the National Geographic.

Looking at you pictures it seems like they’re all obtained using analog techniques, is that true? Why?
My photographs are a mix between traditional photographic processes and digital media. Unfortunately some film stocks are becoming scarce and expensive but to me they will always have a special quality.

When approaching a commissioned shoot, what are your sources? How do you prepare?
I do not do very much commissioned work. I feel that keeping my own art direction and shooting style is essential for the end result. Often when people want something commissioned they want a more commercial version. There is also a prescribed way of shooting, especially on fashion shoots that is very different from the way I like to work. That said, there have been some great experiences, and it is interesting to work with other people and see how they interpret your work for their own use. References are an important part of communicating and there is always allot of research involved to make sure we are moving in the same direction.

Untitled, The Women of Canterbury series, 2011, photo by Marianna Rothen

Could you tell us a bit about your project “e.k.t.i.n.”?
e.k.t.i.n aka Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, is the title of a film I worked on in Australia with director Gregory Perano. I was the photographer and this is a segment of the photographs from the shoot. Most the the photos were taken during the dawn and dusk hours, we were always chasing the mist! It was a great experience.

Is there a medium / technique that you haven’t tried yet that you’d like to experiment in the future?
Something about collage is interesting.

Untitled, e.k.t.i.n. series, 2010, photo by Marianna Rothen

Untitled, e.k.t.i.n. series, 2010, photo: Marianna Rothen

Marianna Rothen

What is the place that you would like to travel to in the future? Why?
The Lost World in Venezuela. I wish I could do a shoot here.

Future plans?
Focus on my art photography, working on a photo book and another film with a special director friend, about an androgynous folk singer Dusty Townes.

Who is the woman you’d like to see featured / interviewed here?
Miriam Bossard.