maximilian chini

Location: florence, Italy
Nationality: Italy
Biography: Maximilian Chini Born in Florence (Italy) in 1967. His photography captures what he sees around, nothing is construction, everything is real. Emotions, lines, colours, shapes, harmony, balance: with his photography things show themselves as they... read on
Interview with Maximilian Chini
maximilian chini
Feb 11, 2021
Location: Mugello - Italy
"From Mugello to the world, the photographs of Maximilian Chini"

Link to the original publication:

Maximilian Chini is a photographer from Mugello (Tuscany). We met him. So that he can tell us about himself, about his idea of "‹"‹his photography. And he tells us about it with words and images.

Who is Maximilian Chini? Photography, art and design: this is my life. I was born in Florence in 1967 and have lived in San Piero a Sieve for years.

When did you pick up your first camera? My photography adventure began at the age of eight when I received a Kodak Instamatic 130 at my first communion. The first camera I bought was a Yashica 108, but it was with the Nikon F100 that I really began to discover the real power of photography, with two types of film: Fuji Velvia 50 and Ilford FP4.
With the new millennium I switched to digital photography, I must say with many difficulties, but over the years I have managed to make peace with this photography and now I have shot with a Sigma SD4 mirrorless camera and 20mm and 105mm fixed lenses, also Sigma, ART line .

How would you define your photography? My photography captures what I see around me, nothing is construction, everything is real. Emotions, lines, colors, shapes, harmony, balance, everything that manages to capture my attention becomes a photo. Urban landscapes, nature, architecture, interiors, industrial structures, everything can be captured in images and become something to look at with pleasure and emotion. With my photography I want to do justice to what things really are.

You have no shortage of subjects… Fortunately I can travel often for work: Europe and Asia are my main areas of work. 1996 was the first year I visited Hong Kong before the state returned to the People's Republic of China; November 2019 the last trip to the far south of Korea, before Covid stopped us all at home: I have not been able to move since then.

You have lived and live in Mugello and have traveled the world. From an "aesthetic", "photographic" point of view, what are the characteristics of our land, the elements that distinguish it, the most beautiful or intriguing things to photograph?
It is not easy to answer, since I almost never leave with an idea of "‹"‹photos to take: I have in mind the place, the situation or the subject, but then I leave it to what most captures me in the moment ... for this , our land really has many things that excite me. The beauty and nature of our places in the first place: I live in the countryside, between San Piero and Scarperia; the road that goes from Gabbiano to Sant'Agata is something extraordinary, it is a landscape that has nothing to envy to Chianti. Then our mountains and / or hills: the areas that go from San Cresci to monte giovi, very rich in badlands ... the quarries in the Firenzuola area ... the whole area above the slingbar, both on the Futa side and on the San Giovanni in Petroio side up to the Croci of Calenzano on one side and Morels on the other.
The history that is part of our Mugello: with all Medici possessions (Cafaggiolo, Fortress of San Martino, Trebbio).
The art of Giotto and Beato Angelico, up to the Chini, with artifacts scattered throughout our territory. For those who do not know or have never been reported that the Prado in Madrid, one of the most important art museums in the world, has on the cover of its catalog, the "Annunciazione del Beato Angelico", not a painting by El Greek, Goya or Velázquez ...
All our churches: From Sant'Agata to Borgo San Lorenzo to San Giovanni, San Cresci ...
The historic centers of our villages: Scarperia, Vicchio, Borgo San Lorenzo, San Piero ...
The characters of our recent: Don Milani and the church of Barbiana.
I would also like to mention a dear friend of mine, Paolo Parigi, creator together with his brother Giovanni of "Heron Paris": a company that perhaps not everyone knows that has reached the highest levels of Design in the office sector and with drawing tables before. Paolo had received the "Compasso D’oro" in 1979, which is the highest honor in the world for a designer. In the following years, Heron Paris would then set up the offices of Bill Gates (creator and owner of Microsoft) in Seattle ...
Surely all these things, then combined with personal training and work in the world of design, have helped to create my "aesthetic sense", very difficult to satisfy, and to contribute to my photographic setting.

And maybe also tell us what are the Mugello things that most disturb your photographic eye ...
As you said, I'm used to traveling even to distant countries; this contributes to forming an aesthetic sense that I would define as "Community". You learn, with a lot of effort and time, to appreciate canons of beauty that are not typical of your culture. Let me give you an example: in Asia, it is not just aspects of harmony or symmetry that determine beauty of an artifact, rather than a building, but also the balance between empty and full, between high and low, between inside and outside. And every continent I would say has its own canons. Of course I remain a European who was born in the fourth century BC in Pericles' Athens, I spent my youth in the Florence of the Medici and I became an adult in the Vienna of Klimt and Mahler, but I also learned not to expect others to solve problems that I can't solve it. So yes, there are things I don't like in Mugello, but maybe it's not the aesthetic ones that bother me the most ...
I could talk about the Carlone Landfill, the water damage caused by high speed, the potholes in the streets or bad construction sites ... aspects that perhaps concern more politics since it is from it that many of the good or bad things that a citizen has to live with derive. ...
However, I consider Mugello a wonderful place where, if possible, to live.

When we can start moving again, what would you like to photograph first?
So photography never stops… speaking of travel, however, I promised my son that we will go to central Africa: I have several friends in Congo, some in Kinshasa and others near the border with Rwanda and from there on to Madagascar.

In your opinion, is it possible to do photographic art with mobile phones?
Definitely: art does not depend on the medium but on culture, madness, genius. Of course, if we then talk about photos that need to be printed perhaps in large sizes, then I believe that a good camera is essential to obtain a good result.

On you can find other examples of Maximilian Chini's photography. A greeting: for contacts