In search of the perfect snapshot. A conversation with photographer Andreas von Maltzan.

Andreas von Maltzan: DESIRE (all photographs: €1700)

From today until the 13th of January, Andreas von Maltzan's atmospheric images and works by Jürgen Hinterleithner and Tom Schmelzer are shown in the exhibition “OPEN YOUR MIND … AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW” in the Munich Orangerie. The internet entrepreneur and photographer from Munich explains what is good art for him, how it is created and what the future holds for him.


Mister von Maltzan, many of your images are created at night. Would you describe yourself as a night owl or nocturnal?

Yes, I would say I really am a nocturnal person!

Why did you start working with photography?

I always wanted to be an artist. I set myself the condition however, that I had to be able to afford it, I did not want to be under pressure of having to sell my art. Luckily I am now in the position to make art just for fun. I try to successively reduce my business activities to dedicate myself fully to photography.


Is creativity necessary for your internet projects or

I have been working with internet startups for the last twelve years. It certainly is a creative challenge; you have to find a niche and set yourself apart from the competitors with all the creative methods and possibilities available to you. So working with the internet certainly is a creative activity, photography and art as such is a completely different challenge however.

How do you find your motifs? What are you interested in most?

I carry a digital camera with me at all times. You stumble upon these unique moments: a special light, a particular situation, coincidences … Sometimes these moments only last seconds and you have to be ready to capture them. My approach is certainly different to other photographers who stand in front of a building for a day working on the motif.

You drop everything else when the right motif comes up?

Once I stopped on the hard shoulder and started taking pictures. During the Biennale 2009 I had my first exhibition, it was about Venice; one night after some premiere people dressed in smokings and gowns crossed the square. When do you get a setting like that? The St. Marcus square was largely empty and it was a night of a full moon, no flood and no Japanese tourists in the background!

What can the visitors expect from the exhibition?

The joy of looking at the pictures; maybe they will enjoy it enough to buy one (laughs)! The images in the exhibition are very emotional photos of buildings and atmospheres, taken between 2008 and today. They were not exclusively shot at night. Mostly I do not edit my photos, I present them in a large format on Alu Dibond.


What is your favourite city? Which is the most photogenic?

I took some very nice pictures in Palermo!

What is the perfect image for you?

In the end, an image has to please and fascinate. I am not one to try to give them an insanely deep message. An image should depict a subjective situation, an emotion. Sometimes it pleases, sometimes it doesn’t. It has to please.