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denis piel (b. 1944) is a photographer and film-maker, who also acts as a consultant to creative projects around the world.
He is currently living and working in the South-West of France.
In 1979 piel moved to New York when offered a contract by Alexander Liberman and subsequently worked as a Condé Nast photographer for a decade, shooting mainly for Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, and Self.
Alongside Avedon and Penn, he was one of the few photographers at the time to be given a contract with Condé Nast.
He won the Leica Medal for Excellence in Commercial Photography 1987 having worked with an international eclectic group of clients from Fortune magazine, to Estee Lauder.
Recognised for his influential directorial approach within fashion photography, Piel fused an intimate narrative into the images he created, working with models in the construction of a story.
He also began directing and writing commercials, notable the iconic New York campaign for Donna Karan and The Wool Board campaign, Australia.
His well-known clients have included Anne Klein, Revlon, L'Oréal, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Fortune, Sheraton, Guerlain, Helena Rubinstein, Bergdorf Goodman, Ultima, Estée Lauder, Max Factor, Elizabeth Arden, Chanel, and also Shell, New Zealand and German telecoms, Singapore Airlines, Nestle .....
In 1989 piel left Condé Nast to concentrate on film. He continued with his commercial advertising work in both film and stills during this period, however he stopped shooting editorial work except occasionally.
piel produced and directed his first feature length documentary Love is Blind in the early 1990's.
In September 2012 Rizzoli published “Moments”, a retrospective of piel's work shot between 1979 and 2007. This volume designed by award-winning designer Ruth Ansel, feature a selection of images taken on assignement for fashion magazines and advertising clients as well as celebrities portraits, or nudes of breathtaking women who would become the supermodels and actresses of a new generation.
piel's eclectic approach to his work with a disregard for categorizing work as commercial or personal has generated a diverse body of work comprising projects which sit in dialogue with one another. Look at his last solo exhibition at Rove Gallery in London in Apri l- May 2013.
piel current project "Down to Earth" is inspired largely by his move to the country from the urban. Today rural/urban are not binary opposites, the rural exists in the urban, and the urban exists in the rural; nature and culture co-exist. “Down to Earth” is a celebration of living closely with nature and is being shot on location at Château de Padiès, in the southwest of France.
The "Down to Earth" project is being supported by Hasselblad