photographer and filmmaker denis piel
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How does one describe a DENIS PIEL?


A Director

A Painter

A Cruel Realist

A Poet

A Pop Culturista 

At the end a child with a camera

Constant challenges and shifts 

Work that moves and defines its times

The work was and remains a view into the emotions and less the content. 

It is driven by a constant search of available light and reaction mixed with a director’s voice constantly manipulating the soul of individuals so as to enable the observer to feel and touch the experience.

The images remain dynamic.

They revert to some fundamental thoughts of early reportage and are highly personal.

Are they one mans fantasy or reality.

Is the globetrotting mind of an artist soulful and dramatic of a continent far away evident in each snap?

Denis is and has become in many ways a painter of light and subject instead to use the camera as a tool he drives the lens into a relationship between the mind of the subject and his own, an intimacy caught every time without exception.

Upon the scene of fashion and style in the 80’s he became legendary amongst his peers for being able to remove distance and replace with intimacy.

The Leica became his frame and the talent became his sculpture.

I think now looking back he was always “the director” Denis and less the photographer. 

The cinematic realities and experiences, expressions and values he captured remain timeless and important on the landscape of photography.

They went color. He went black and white.

They were very studied.

He was very intuitive.

They wanted to fit into a trend.

He was keenly aware that he never fit into any trend.

In the final analysis had he not removed his journey and escaped to France his work would have become a greater and more potent influence on the photography scene of his times.

Now he returns

Stronger then ever creating a continuum of language and vision not only built of a mirroring of his feelings and views but more importantly driving once again a powerful message that within and in front of that snapped moment lives a timeless expression of a thought, a feeling and a relationship between him and his subject

His work reveals a series of relationships and questions about people and behavior and finally what is and what should be Beauty as seen only in his eyes and not in the eyes of the beholder.


Peter Arnell

Dec 2017  NY



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