As a world-renowned artist of architectural photography, Massimo Listri was born in 1953 in Florence, Italy. At the age of 17, Massimo got his first camera, and took a series of portraits of notable figures, including film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, writer Rene Clair, art historian Federico Zeri, and collector Harold Acton. Passionate about the humanities, he chose art and literature at college. A photographer for the literary journal Bolaffi Arte, he won the St. Vincent Prize for journalism. Obsessed with architecture, Massimo has eventually become a well-known photographer in the field.
Since the 1980s, Massimo worked with the magazine FMR and then AD, and published 78 photobooks. In 30 years he’s taken photos of more than 3,500 famous buildings across the world. In 2002, Il fascino delle biblioteche was published. Its preface was written by Umberto Eco, a famous naturalist and semiotician. The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries, published by the well-known art publisher Taschen in 2008, traces the development of Massimo’s art philosophy. Vittorio Sgarbi, the famous Italian curator and art critic, and Eike Schmidt who is the director of the Uffizi Gallery, contributed texts.
Artwork: Palazzo Martelli, Firenze
Artist: Massimo Listri
This artwork was shot in Palace Martelli, Florence. The artist was attracted because its distinctive characteristic aligned with his creation logic. As a palace abandoned by the old aristocracy, its vivid mural is a reminder of people mingling in that brightly lit room – crystal glasses in their hands many centuries ago. In this room, you can’t help but imagine the delicacies in the platters, the sight of candles, the words they said, and the stories that were told.
Massimo rarely interferes subjectively with the creation object/space, and the square table is the original furnishing of the room. However, the artist is extremely picky about his subjects. It is probably this square table that evokes Massimo’s expressive desire. As the “creator” of a space, an architectural photographer cannot change the objective space, so it’s especially important to find the balance of senses. In this work, the square table was not placed neatly, while a seasoned photographer was able to find and take the natural light that balanced the picture. So, the meaningful spirit of this space was shown just because Massimo invested a lot of time and emotion in this moment and tried to know this corner as a person.
Massimo Listri is best known for his large-scale images of majestic, empty interior spaces. His works are a tribute to culture and civilization. A notable collector of his work includes the late Karl Lagerfeld as well as many prestigious art galleries, museums, and architectural firms. Suffice to say that if you own a piece of Massimo’s work, you are offered a history, a culture, and a brilliant perspective.