Marian Plaino/Romania

SALON GOLD MEDAL in section Street with photography Mr. Pork
















VINKO ŠEBREK – AFIAP, ESFIAP wrote about photography:

Marian Plaino – “Mr. Pork”

(From the other side of reality)

“Knowledge isn’t about reading books; it’s about knowing what you’re reading.”  Romanian proverb

If we were to apply this folk wisdom to the work of Marian Plaino, we could say that he knows what he is reading, or rather, knows what he is photographing. Even more than that. He knows how to create and present a photograph, be it a document, evidence or a work of art. A photograph, which must have a clear goal, content, narration, moral and message. Additionally, Marian Plaino uses allegory, metaphor, humor and satire in his artistic expression and creativity, which contribute to understanding the context that lies within the photograph, but is not visible in the image’s content.

One such photograph, which best testifies to this, is his “Mr. Pork”, awarded with the Gold Medal in the street category at the ninth international photographic competition and exhibition Pannonia Reflections. The exhibition, consisting of 100 of the best award-winning and accepted photographs from 84 authors from 27 countries, was held in the beautiful Gallery-Museum hall in Lendava at the beginning of March 2023, and was organized by the Photographic Society Pannonia Lendava.

Honorary places at the exhibition were given to favourites and their awarded photographic works. Images that exude freshness, new and special perspectives on the world and photography, attract particular attention. Among them, the photograph of Marian Plaino, “Mr. Pork”, portraying a vendor with a pig’s head, selling meat at a stand at the market, received special attention and comments from visitors. The author expertly shaped a special visual and narrative story through an interesting and enigmatic documentary photograph, in which the reality of the scene was dressed in sharp humor and satire, infusing the photo with a much wider meaning than what is visible in the image.

Visitors to the exhibition experienced the photograph in different ways. Some visitors recognized a purely documentary photograph with humorous connotations, while a smaller part searched for its metaphorical and allegorical narratives, meanings and messages, without intending to make fun of them.

The author of the photograph and these smaller part of visitors found themselves on the same, or at least similar, wavelength, because they understood that satire, allegory and metaphor are very suitable and crucial for social criticism. Certainly, I am referring here to Friedrich Nietzsche’s attitude to interpretation of artistic works when he said, “There are no facts, only interpretations”.

It is precisely because of this recognition of narrative, aesthetics, emotions and message in the visual approach and creative expression of Marian Plaino’s award-winning photograph that we discover the full strength and beauty of his overall photographic and artistic creativity. Robert Schumann wrote long ago, “Between knowledge and creation there is a huge gap over which bridges are often built only after hard struggles”. Marian Plaino has built that bridge and is upgrading it every day, filling it in and supplementing it. Congratulations!


Also, Marian told us a few words about himself:

Marian Plaino











Since 1997 – when I was 23 years old and still a student – I am playing with photography: first as a passionate traveler, to catch the natural beauty discovered all around our country, and then as a Math teacher, playing with my pupils, and step by step, as a business man, as I have developed together my wife a souvenir factory based on my photos.

A few years ago, I decided to take this play more seriously, so I have extended my “photo games” into more fields: portraits, events, countryside life, street life.

My passion is to capture real life, therefore we travel a lot to discover it all over the world in different cultures. I like to try new techniques, to be creative, but I like to search for the right moment and light and not prepare it.

I consider photography a visual art of speaking, an international language capable to capture, to absorb the moment and further to expose to everyone the entire story behind and around that specific second. Each frame is a visual story “told” through photographer’s eye, feeling and ability.

In 2016 I started to “test” my photos in international and national photo contests. Actually one of the first contests I won is Pannonia Reflections. Until now I have counted more than 350 prizes in about 50 countries, 3 trophies and 4 times “Best Author”.

Since 2018 I have joined Varadinum Foto Club and I have been member of juries at 7 International Photo Contests.

EFIAP Bronze, C***Mol, E.AAFR


In the gallery below you can see more of Marian’s photos: