Erik Chmil - Pictures, Art, Photography Erik Chmil

Erik Chmil

Background Information about Erik Chmil


Erik Chmil (born 1968) is always on the search for the meaningful detail, whether in urban architecture or the cantilevered landscape of the mountains. As a distanced observer with a penchant for helping himself to graphic formal language, he opens still views of nature and culture’s changing relationships. “Who are you to dare come up here among us,” the bright mountains in the background seem to admonish. And thus teach us humility amidst such mighty, indeed romantic scenery.


1968 born in Leverkusen, Germany
1983 started interest in photography
1989-1991assistence in Dusseldorf, Germany
1991-1994Visual Communication,University of Applied Sciences, Dortmund, Germany
semester abroad, Ecole des beaux arts, Besancon, France
assistance, Finnland
1993 first studio, Hilden, Germany
started architectural photography and reportages
since 1995studio in Cologne, Germany, mainly advertising photography
1998 first car shooting

Since then, Chmil hast been working worldwide for various clients and agencies in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the US. He is member of the BFF and AOP


2011BFF Merit
2010200 Best Photographers, Lürzers
2010Red Dot Design Award and ADC Bronze for book publikation
2004 Kelly Award Finalist, Porsche campaign, USA
1987-1989Award German Youth Photography Price


1994 Galerie Lichthof, Dusseldorf, Germany


Picasso once said, “You don’t make art, you find it.“ Where do you find your art?
Inspiration, self-realization, and tranquility come to me during long walks through the forest. Exhibitions and architecture also influence me heavily. Aside from the aforementioned, inspiration evolves while working on other projects.

From concept to creation: How do you approach your work?
The rule is: perceive and observe!
After ideas spontaneously arise from feeling, craft and materialization follow. This process yields extensive online research and, ultimately, on-site research and scouting. Given proper lighting, through which exposure and image process are determined, my underlying emotions should be effectively conveyed in my images.

What’s your favorite book?
Ralph Gibson: The Spirit of Burgundy

Which artist would you like to have coffee with and what would you talk about?

On Kawara! I’d love to discuss his inner strength in painting an image with the date every single day…

How did you develop an interest in art?
Through an early enthusiasm toward developing a feeling from a subjective experience to a permanent embodiment. The unforgettable moment of developing film and slowly watching the photo materialize is a sensation that has yet to fade – even in today’s digital age.

Who in your life influences you the most?
Practically everyone who has assumed a position in my life and is willing to live a meaningful life.

If you had a time machine, where would you go?

Never back! The past has passed.

What is your greatest passion, aside from art?

Traveling, Hiking, Yoga, Cooking…

What are you working on at the moment?
On a project involving snapshots of nature, which facilitates a holistic sensation.
Imagery, smell, sound - perceptions of silence, for heightened awareness and, ultimately, introspection.