Image: Marton Perlaki. Courtesy the artist.

Image: Marton Perlaki. Courtesy the artist.

Q&A with Marton Perlaki


Marton Perlaki is a visual artist based in London who works primarily in photography. Alongside his personal practice, Perlaki has shot editorials for magazines including SZ Magazine, Fantastic Man, M le Monde, T Magazine: The New York Times Style, Vogue.

Hello, please start by telling us something about yourself that is not in your bio.

My first real passion was drawing. I was obsessed. As a hyperactive child, drawing was the only thing that kept me in one place for more than 5 minutes.

So I wanted to major in art and drawing in High School.


Luckily (in retrospect) my High School got reclaimed by the Catholic Church just when I got admitted…

They cancelled the opportunity to become an art major and religious studies became compulsory.

I felt the rug has been pulled out under my feet.

After a brief period of feeling sorry for myself something happened…A friend was doing a photography course after school. She invited me to join her for an afternoon class.

After some hesitation I said yes….

This was over twenty years ago and photography remained my passion ever since.

Can you explain your artistic processes to us (research, methods, processes, rituals, etc)? Has this changed over time?

I used to plan a lot of my pictures in advance. Sometimes in close collaboration with others. I enjoyed the preparation process as much as taking the picture.

These days I tend to work much more intuitively and almost always, solo.


Since 2018 I’ve been working a lot in the color darkroom doing photogram and luminogram experimentations.

I work alone in the complete darkness with no music or any kind of distraction. Mostly spending the whole day in the darkroom.

For some this could sound as torture but for me this environment helps to “laser focus” and develop a special kind of hyper attentiveness.

Marton Perlaki

Marton Perlaki

As an artist/creative, where do you draw inspiration for your work from?

I love pictograms. Functional imagery that has no aesthetic purpose or ambition.

These images are begging to be misinterpreted or be charged emotionally.

I tend to incorporate some of them in final pieces or use them as base inspiration.

Marton Perlaki

Marton Perlaki

What led you to photography (rather than any other artforms)?

When I first picked up a camera…I was sceptical about photography.

I didn’t like the technicality of the medium. The cold machinery which is always between you and the subject matter. All the numbers, shutter speeds, lenses and the practicality of it all.

Finally, I managed to finish a roll of film and ready to learn the process of developing and printing.


I will never forget the moment when I first saw my very own photograph slowly appearing on a sheet of black and white paper.

It felt like pure magic.

From then onwards, my focus solely turned to photography.

Marton Perlaki

Marton Perlaki

When you are not working what do you enjoy doing most?


What do you treasure the most? Why?

Humour is important!

If we wouldn’t take ourselves so seriously the world would most definitely be a better place.

What advice would you give to your 15 year-old self?

Try harder on those French and Italian language courses!

Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March