Marco Arguello

Greece

While many photographers can get hung up on capturing beauty, the Athens-based photographer Marco Arguello is primarily focused on fun. This playful spark bursts off the screen whenever we look at his photography, which has covered travel, fashion, art and politics. In 2018, Marco traveled to Japan to document the small town of Gujo Hachiman, where the unique industry of shokuhin sampuru originated. Sampuru is the craft of creating hyper realistic plastic versions of food which can then be photographed for restaurant menus, and we sent Marco and writer Katherine Whatley to follow him and his camera into this charming and technicolor world to capture the craftsmanship, heritage and humor behind the curious export. Across his career, Marco has published for AFAR, the New York Times, TIME, Monocle, Wallpaper and many more.

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I wanted this series to be fun and a little bit absurd, because most stories about Japanese craft are so beautiful. I wanted people to ask themselves: is that real?