Hola! My name is Maki Ochoa and I am a photographer, storyteller, and visual artist. I am also an avid foodie and a traveling enthusiast. My constant desire to discover new places and cultures has led me to explore the world with curiosity, always searching for new stories to tell. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, in an Italian-Venezuelan household, in which recipes and traveling stories were always present. My nonna Mariuccia, who left Italy with my nonno Mario after WWII, had a small recipe book filled with all of her secrets. Lasagne al pesto, tisamisù, pasqualina and vitel tonnè, to name a few, were considered “weird” recipes by my schoolmates, but to me, they tasted like home. My abuelita Elizabeth, who instead was from Caracas like me, would always spoil me with traditional Venezuelan desserts. Arroz con leche and passion fruit ice cream are some of my all time favorites. I ended growing up in a household filled with recipes that would combine ingredients from the new continent and memories from the old one. If I had to describe my childhood in one word it would be “adventure.” Not just because of my grandmothers’ stories, but because my parents, both scientists and researchers, would often leave for long expeditions to the jungle and sometimes, I would join them. We used to sleep in tents or in shelters that were hidden in the mountains where we would study different types of plants and animals. Those were years of patient observation, always looking for new species to catalogue and I’m sure that in between trips, my passion for photography was born. This constant need for sharing other people’s stories made me obtain a Bachelor Degree in Communications. During that period, I directed my first documentary La Sirena, a reflection of the architectural heritage of the Paraguaná Peninsula in Venezuela. At 23 years old, right after I graduated, I decided to leave my country and move to Italy. After obtaining a Master’s Degree in Photography and Visual Design at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti di Milano (NABA), I became interested in contemporary art. For two years I worked as an assistant for Viasaterna, a Milanese gallery dedicated to contemporary art and photography. This experience allowed me to grow as a visual artist, focusing mainly on works related to my memories and creating a parallelism between the Italian and Venezuelan cultures. I participated in training programs for emerging artists and collaborated with other well-known artists such as Alessandro Sambini, with whom I was able to further explore my interest in performing arts and installation. My work has been exhibited in the collective show Appocundria, curated by Marta Cereda at Casa Testori (Novate Milanese) and at Palazzo Reale (Milan), during the Premio Cairo’s XX edition. Since 2015 I started working as a freelance photographer focusing on food, architecture and design. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Italian and international clients such as Eataly, Viviana Varese, Pepiá Arepas NYC, Tocamadera Design Madrid and Rossi & Bianchi Lighting Design. Thanks to my numerous travels, I’ve also been able to document stories of different people and territories.
From the moment I decided to embark on this journey to discover my roots, Italy has welcomed me in its own way: with a fork in hand and a history book! That’s how my passion to explore this country was born, and what made me decide to discover its regions, its recipes, all the places and traditions with the genuine curiosity of an eternal tourist.
2019, 20° Premio Cairo. Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy
2019, Appocundria, curated by Marta Cereda. Casa Testori, Novate Milanese, Italy
2017, Vång. Photography, Archaeology, Landscapes. Kulturcentrum, Ronneby, Sweden
2016, Esercizi di Autoritratto. The Lone T, Milan, Italy
2014, La Guarimba a Lecce! Manifatture Knos, Lecce, Italy
2012, Retrato 2, curated by Ricardo Peña. RMTF, Caracas, Venezuela
2020, Appocundria. Casa Testori, Novate Milanese, Italy
2019, Flamantes Libro #17. Editorial Flamantes, Madrid, Spain
2019, Shortlisted, 20° Premio Cairo. Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy
2016, Academy Awards, curated by Simone Frangi in collaboration with Boîte and Waiting Posthuman. Viafarini, Milan, Italy
2019, Andrea Tinterri e la poetica di Maki Ochoa, Associazione Culturale Radio Ros Brera