_paci contemporary gallery / porto cervo, italy

Ensconced in the northern coastal jet-setting playground of Porto Cervo, Sardinia, famous for its jeweled-toned sea, sits another gem portside_not to be overlooked.

 While the buoyant glitterati ready yachts and great sailing vessels for adventures in paradise_ toasting to the magnificence surrounding the Bai of Sardinia, and the curious gather for celebrity sightings along the The Costa Smeralda, the Promenade du Port aka The Costa Smeralda Hub_ lies several meters inland from the mighty seafaring crafts. Designed as a “luxury space where people can gather day or night”, it is complete with international art galleries, high-end retailers, bars and fine dining establishments, and an array of events_ all with first class offerings.

Paci Contemporary Gallery is among those glamorous offerings. Sitting pretty, shade side, the Paci Gallery sets its own course. Currently playing host to several photographic legends on both sides of the camera with an exhibition entitled “Moda and Cinema”, I was delighted to have the opportunity to view this collection of some of the most iconic women of the silver screen. The beauty was delivered_san aucun doute, not only detailing trends in fashion and makeup, but the posture, allure and enchantment of decades past, now preserved forever in archives, and brought back to life as the current vogue dictates. While the exhibition is well suited to it’s locale (Prince Aga Kahn’s creation) Paci’s presentation of the provocative and seductive is an engaging selection by the likes of such photographic luminaries as Douglas Kirkland, Bert Stern, William Klein, and Terry O’Neil, among others.

What is evident as you make your way around the gallery is how the photographers are aligned in the use of a “language”. To connect with their subject, the photographer must secure trust. The language is flirtation_ both visual and spoken, and very subtle, as it is the most important element in this photographic process. As an example, and most notably, Bert Stern has captured his star_ Marilyn, allowing the viewer to access the defining moment where intimacy is captured. And the result from Stern is clear in the outcome_ Monroe’s vulnerability. With vulnerability revealed, the intention is a success.

You can still catch the works, as they are on display until 30 September.

For additional information on upcoming exhibitions visit:
info@pacicontemporarygallery.com / pacicontemporary.com
Promenade du Port_Via Aga Khan1 Porto Cervo, Italy

Image, courtesy of Paci Contemporary Gallery_Porto Cervo / 2017


_the cherkashin’s. new work. a new chapter. / june 2017

For decades, Valera and Natasha Cherkashin have added layer upon layer of philosophical and political ideology to their masterful works of photographic genius. With exhibitions, lectures and talks on an international stage, the art of their images have recently been compiled into a 254 page publication entitled, Actions, Happenings and art performances 1962 – 2016 _ Night with a Pioneer Leader, which delves into a history of 2 artists_a husband and wife team, and the legacy of their talent. What inspires them may not offer an easy answer. Perhaps it is a fearless energy to defend beliefs, or a lifetime of a Soviet regime. Perhaps it was Perestroika, the political movement and the “openness”policy that led to the reforms of the Soviet political and economic system during the1980s that allowed for such ambitious work.

2017, and we turn to NEW DRAWINGS_a new series. Compelling, simplified lines detail this new work. Like a fingerprint, no two are alike. Yet, they engage you and hypnotize you. Why now, and why this direction? This mystifies me. These works are “anti-chaos”_ far from anything we have seen from them before. I am reminded of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. In my minds eye, I see the face, but above all, it is his wavy lines of color drawn on paper that grips me. Is this, the Cherkashin’s return to the pleasures of life drawing, sketchbooks, student impressions before the intrigue of cameras and film came into play? In conversation with Valera, he explained that he intuitively went to the origins of his drawing, before professional training, with the desire to catch that primary element, a thrilling feeling of a simple touch to the paper. It was joy from a simple touch and moving a pencil over a piece of paper, while anticipating the source of something important and mysterious. The beginning of something infinite and desirable, but still completely unknown.

Lines provide the foundation to every form of art. It reveals forms, displays length, width, tone, and texture. My consideration is that the Cherkashin’s intention in these drawings is to remove oneself from the chaos of modern times and find solace in simplicity. In addition, as line itself denotes direction, it is fair to state these lines are visual directions which may be seen as a metaphor for contemplation on the orientation of one’s life_ a course that is extremely personal to an artist as well as each and every viewer.

The work is powerful and profound.


“Untitled 1” / “Untitled 5”



“Untitled 8” / “Untitled 10”



“Untitled 24” / “Untitled 23”




Contact information /  website www.cherkashinart.com / email cherkashin@metro33.com

Actions, Happenings and art performances 1962 – 2016 _ Night with a Pioneer Leader  Natasha & Valera Cherkashin

Book information: www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/6568799/884c0a46741dc84b45aea55e107d90c7e536b63c

Thomas J. Watson Library / The Metropolitan Museum of Art _New York, NY USA
Available in Russian. Coming soon_English Language Edition.

_my encounter

Dear Mr. McBurney,

On Wednesday, 04 January of this year, I had the privilege of attending your marvelous production of The Encounter at the John Golden Theatre in NYC, where I live. Needless to say, I was much enthralled by your heroic performance of photojournalist Loren MacIntire_and the dramatic appetite for extreme audio and visual production elements that cleverly allowed the audience the sensory perception of a intriguing and true story of a man, an explorer, a seeker, well told. So bravo, well done!

Perhaps, my interest was so intense, due to the fact that I, too, am a photographer_and journalist, and have had the opportunity to cross some of the indigenous regions of the Amazon.

My experience began after a flight to Iquitos, Peru where I journeyed up the Ucayali River in only modest wooden crafts with a marvelous guide at the helm and several other passengers.To explore the Amazon, its tributaries, natural wonders, and extraordinary communities left me breathless. In addition, before the river excursion, my friend and I were greeted by Walter Saxer at La Casa Fitzcarraldo in Punchana Iquitos, for a stay before our Amazon venture. Saxer’s beloved “leisure refuge”, was complete with all the operatic sounds and film recordings of Werner Herzog’s grand
film_Fitzcarraldo of which was filmed on location in the Peruvian Amazon and was the production’s home, and base of operations for the cast and crew.

So thank you once again, for your presentation of The Encounter. I have attached a photo of “My Encounter” for your enjoyment. /R

Image copyright: Renay Elle Morris / photopresseimages.com / 2016

_PhotoPlus Expo Rocks. Graham Nash sets the stage.


New York, NY – November 2016

NYC’s PDN PhotoPlus Expo Rocks. Keynote speaker Graham Nash sets the stage.

New York City is a fabulous place to be especially if you are a photo enthusiast. The recent PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo (October 19-22) offered an amazing, well-defined image-based agenda that captured the attention of shooters worldwide. Welcoming over 21,000 image-makers, the event, held yearly at NYC’s Javits Convention Center, did not disappoint. Those eager to set eyes on a never-ending assortment of new cameras and equipment, software and hardware, and a bevy of top-of-the line digital capture products ready for market, had the opportunity to participate in a series of talks and walks, workshops, product demonstrations, lectures and portfolio reviews _ all designed for the amateur as well as the pro.

A crowd pleaser for sure, was a “Keynote Conversation” featuring two icons in music and photography. Rock legend Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young) revealed private thoughts and public commentaries on the music industry and his love of the photographic medium with Rolling Stone’s chief photographer, and musician himself, Mark Seliger. And with Seliger, can it get any better? The two, relaxed and unrehearsed, captured the audience’s attention with an impressive and spontaneous delivery of ideas and thoughts about both mediums. Nash, years before he garnered fame as a rock icon, held his first camera as a child and never lost interest. Storytelling was a big part of the conversation while his images were displayed on 2 large screens. They were poignant and deeply personal, and reflected the sensitivity of an artist with a soul deep and caring.

“It’s not the process. It’s the vision.” _ Graham Nash

2017 Dates: 26-28 October / Javits Conventions Center, NYC / photoplusexpo.com



images 1_ copyright / renay elle morris

images 2, 3_ copyright / graham nash


_toasts to the toastmaster – photographer david derex

A touch of the provocative filled the Stable Gallery in Ridgewood, New Jersey this past April as David Derex hit a milestone with a retrospective celebrating 50 Years of photographic imagery. No stranger to the celebrity world, he worked the room of curious onlookers with joy and spontaneity, as they were welcomed into a beguiled world of bewitching beauty. Aptly titled, “Guys and Dolls” – Character Studies and Glamour Portraits, the gallery’s 2 floors revealed images of actors and performers; character types with familiar grins and poses captured in time while others, those of fashion models, beckoned visitors to take a closer look – revealing Derex’s style of seductive post production execution.

Say’s Derex, “I aim to seduce viewers with aesthetics – vitality and unity – in order to sensitize them, as they recognize and take pleasure in their own physical, emotional, sensory, or spiritual vibrations.


2 Briauna GL103

1 Jerry Orbach - chair

Derex’s work is of a painterly quality, achieved with hours of tedious attention to detail. He challenges and champions the use of the photographic medium to achieve precise and colorful options to fit the range of his subjects, and his interest in portraiture is a strength that is created in many genres, including family and pet studies. As an expert in the subject of framing, Derex offers solutions for presentation for a range of clientele. And, in his publication of Studio Portrait Photography in Black & White,he discusses the importance of lighting in photography, spelling out in great detail a plethora of instructive information for studio photographers and for the amateur as well.

Derex is a member of the Professional Photographers of America, and past President of its New Jersey chapter.The organization has bestowed additional honors on him in consideration of his photographic achievements.

For more information, log on to davidderex.com

All images copyright David Derex 2016.

_jean pigozzi: photovocateur

The 16th of April proved to be a beautiful Saturday in Manhattan. I found my way into Madison Avenue’s Gagosian Gallery where the glitterati hold court. The event du jour was a conversation with photographer Jean (Johnny) Pigozzi and NY Times best selling author, Derek Blasberg. The French born and Harvard educated Pigozzi was in town to reveal moments; private and public from his new book Pool Party: Sixty Years at the World’s Most Famous Pool. Blasberg engaged Pigozzi in lively talk, revealing Pigozzi’s quick and passionate humor and his photographic love of “capturing the moment” – referencing one of the great photographers, Robert Frank, whose photojournalistic efforts defined an era. Gagosian’s walls hosted images of delicious soirées at the Villa Dorane, Pigozzi’s manor in Cap d’Antibes, France. He enticed the audience with scandalous tales of celebrity romp. A “to die for invite up to the villa” was most likely on the minds of the standing room only crowd that sipped champagne while Pigozzi set stage.

My life in the art world is very simple. I’m very focused. I enjoy it. I have a lot of friends and artist friends. It’s an industry that I enjoy, and I think we can agree that it’s much more interesting than, for example, the roofing business. —Jean Pigozzi

“Jean Pigozzi’s pictures are a great way to start collecting art and photography, and they represent an intimate, insider’s point of view to a rarefied world.” – Derek Blasberg

Gagosian Gallery
APR 12 – MAY 28, 2016
976 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075
T. 212.744.2313

image: renay elle morris / photopresseimages.com
*Johnny Pigozzi IMG_1074

Paris Photo 2015 – with gratitude

Given the cruelest of intentions by the discontent, and the course of terror that has captured the Paris light in an unforgiving campaign, I offer my deepest condolences to the city I love. And, of course, to all my friends, colleagues, and fellow artists at Paris Photo whose remarkable expertise and talent are not in vain. It is still an opportunity to pay tribute and honor these individuals, and all the innocents who stand united in the midst of this horror.
Though you are forced to close the portals of the 2015 expo, I await 2016. For the finest of the photographic medium.
Je suis Paris.
– Renay Elle Morris, photographer / journalist    November 2015
Paris photo 5 2015 blog IMG_6747
Paris Photo 3 2015  blog IMG_6823
          © paris photo renay elle morris / photopresseimages.com

The VoomaGo Effect.*

*The state of exhilaration, heightened awareness even giddiness one experiences by travel itineraries designed and offered by VoomaGo. Stoked. Lucky, lucky me. I am watching the sea reflect hues of intoxicating blues off the coast of Trapani, uninterrupted, sans for echoes of bathers’ delight. I am present in this moment, drawn to faint whispers of […]


Under looming greys, Paris, the city of lights, flickered even brighter with a spotlight on its annual fete–The Month of Photography. From the 15-18 of November, the landscape was transformed. This remarkable tourist venue became a destination designed “en exclusivité” for photographers, where the amateur as well as the pro, gallerists, curators, collectors and whole community of creatives could engage in dialogues about the “fluidity and impurity of the photographic medium.” And it didn’t disappoint. Museums and galleries from the right to the left (bank that is) were positioned to present important works, both analog and those adopting highly advanced photographic techniques. Of note, the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Centre Cultural de Chine, Centre Pompidou, Foundation, Cartier Pour L’Art Contemporain, Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian, Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Christie’s Paris, and Sotheby’s France were part of what became an extraordinary learning center.

Offerings of champagne and culinary delights were on the menu as VIP’s hosted soirees for prospective buyers. The center of this yearly event, Paris Photo 2012–the crème de la crème of photo fairs was housed in The Grand Palais–a magnificent Beaux-Arts monument, “dedicated by the Republic to the glory of French art.”  Now celebrating 18, Paris Photo has, for the past 2 years, retained the Palais’ original purpose–to house the great artistic events of the city of Paris.  And, while still boasting over its 50,000 attendees in 2011, this year’s expo held court to 128 French and International galleries, and introduced 23 photography publishers and booksellers, invited for the 4-day fete to one of the finest expositions in praise of photography.


This year marked the launch of Paris Photo vu par David Lynch (Paris Photo seen by…), a soft cover publication featuring approximately100 images curated by the visionary image-maker. The book highlights the photographs that Lynch praised as his favorites. It was seen as a personal companion to experience the show as well as a keepsake reference. The tradition will continue with extraordinary talent presenting their selections in future editions of the Paris Photo. www.shop.parisphoto.fr

Recent Acquisitions

Sponsored by the event’s official partners Giorgio Armani, and JP Morgan, three international institutions were invited to showcase their recent photographic acquisitions. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presented “Face to Face” with outstanding self-portraits from legendary artists the likes of Diane Arbus, Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Man Ray and William Wegman. Huis Marseille Museum’s exhibition “Doubling Presence” was an exploration into the art of multiplication in imagery and included the works of Koos Breukel, Anton Corbijn and Hellen Van Meene. And Fotomuseum Winterthur’s “Cut and Paste”, curated for the expo, offered the works of Hans-Peter Feldmann, Thomas Galler, Sherrie Levine, among others.

Paris Photo Platform

Created in association with the Luma Foundation and directed by Roxanna Marcoco, Curator of Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), this 4-day event was structured for critical exchanges, performances and interactions. These debates and presentations were hosted by a selection of leading artists and scholars such as Taryn Simon, Rem Koolhas, and David Lynch.

SFR Jeune Talents – The 2012 Laureates

The 6th juried photo competition celebration of young emerging artists, and an exhibition of the winning talent’s work. Other highlights of the fair included, Private Collection with “Collected Shadows” from the London based Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC)–a stunning exhibition of works of Gustave Le Gray, Robert Frank, Bertha Jacques, Josef Sudek and Bruce Gilden, among them. Assembled and curated by Timothy Prus, the show was fascinating mix of imagery that displayed all styles and periods of the medium. The Official Partners Exhibition featured, “Spectacular Vernacular”–a showing of 32 photographs from the internationally renowned JP Morgan Chase Art Collection, and Giorgio Armani’s “Aqua 2” previewed a new selection of works based on the theme of water. The Open Book Exhibition presented “Bernd and Hilla Becher – In Prints 1964-2012”, viewed as an historical reading of the couple, it used only printed material including reviews, museum catalogues, posters, and brochures. And BMW Art and Culture sponsored its young artist in residence program presenting “Ici, Par-Dela Les Brumes”, honoring Alexandra Catiere and her award-winning images.

The launch of the juried Paris Photo – Aperature Foundation PhotoBook Awards presented “The First Photobook”, and “The Photobook of the Year Awards” while the New Galleries Projects premiered Solo/Duo and Group shows. The Book Signing Program rounded out the major events at this year’s expo.

After days perusing the likes of Gagosian, Paris; Howard Greenberg; New York, Magnum, Paris; Stevenson, Cape Town; and Yossi Milo, New York, I am struck by the magnitude of possibilities open to all interested in elevating skills and engaging in an extensive network of dialogues. The expo experience is priceless. All photographers, no matter what level, must seek out these venues as well as other photo-related opportunities. Get connected, as these events will alter your ideas on what is possible, change the way you look at photography, and add new dimensions to your work. Finding what is relevant and marketable in an ever-expanding photographic climate is key.

Last but not least, it’s official. Paris Photo Director Julien Frydman has announced the first US Edition of Paris Photo to be held this side of the Atlantic in Los Angeles at the Paramount Pictures studios­–25-26 April 2013.  Log on, as details are in the works.

For further information:  www.parisphoto.com

Images – copyright Renay E. Morris 2012

Light and Play: Portrait Study in Travel Photography: An exercise for the emerging photographer 

Eye to Eye

The opportunity to travel is, in my opinion, one of the greatest pleasures on the planet. And the opportunity to document it – to preserve that moment in time – is unparalleled. Please note that this article is dedicated to the emerging photographer and is written to encourage shooting through the intimidation. With advanced cameras and sophisticated accessories; including those exhaustive manuals, the shooting experience can be quite daunting. To start, this is about travel portraiture and the ability to intellectually, physically and emotionally connect with individuals and be granted permission through a smile or a nod. As there are many ways to approach portraiture, first you must see it as more than a studied or orchestrated image. It features the posture of the individual, willing or perhaps caught off guard and the challenge of the photographer to capture the essence of that person close-up or engaged in activity. Don’t be afraid to partner with your camera to explore contemporary culture by shooting in new ways. Celebrate the spontaneity and embrace these challenges in finding that you have only seconds to define that moment. And note the light; this is key. There is no set-up, no complex lighting design and details, just the raw nature of light and the dance it does to define and tell a story. Your studio is a wide open-space and your subjects are inconsistent and many.

“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”

” The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.”

– Henri Cartier-Bresson, father of modern photojournalism.

Exercise Mode
You are about to journey to an exotic location – a place that screams out “take my picture”. For the proposed exercise it’s just you and your camera. Or is it? This is the time to forego your tripod, additional lenses and the camera bag of “must haves”. You have enough to contend with as the chaos of crowded streets and markets compete with “see this, see that”, the countless ooh’s and aah’s of travelling companions–so cause for photographic methodology changes. It is when less becomes more. Now, every second counts. Not to panic, just make a few adjustments and you will be all set to immerse yourself in that landscape and find your subjects. This is “Photo on the Fly” and for entry-level photographers, there is no greater opportunity than to shoot on the fly as it allows for you to take charge and go for the contest.

Recently I spent 5 weeks wandering throughout India where I was drawn to meditate. While quietly reaching for higher consciousness I realized “Photo on the Fly”. Although Indian settings are spectacular with awe-inspiring locations and filled with an assembly of diverse ethnicities, my set up time was not. A critical part of travel photography is to use all the resources at hand – to make do and improvise. Your exercise requires both mental and physical trials. Forget the idea of snapshots; we are moving toward pro-mode. Position your camera in odd directions, while you linger in odd positions. Use your body. Stand on higher ground, or reach for lower angles. Squat. Think of the gym and move those limbs. And for the close-up, where you are dead on – face-to-face, just go for it. It may feel awkward, strange and even embarrassing, but this is the dance and you need to learn the steps. Then from your vantage point, think composition. Frame the subject so that it tells a story. Your subject should be the highlight, and all the other elements surrounding it, enhance and support it. Contours and colors as well as blurred backgrounds define it. Study the light and note the shadows. Learn what time of the day suits you best. For me, the morning brings freshness to my imagery. For others late afternoon and dusk presents opportunity. Portraiture by design is limitless, if you are willing to set out of your comfort zone.

Whether you are using a professional level SLR or pocket-sized camera with a built-in zoom, the choice here is for flexibility. A medium telephoto can offer that flexibility and if someone catches your eye, and close up and personal isn’t an option, you have the best shot for digital capture. For me, a 70-300mm works to my advantage. Continuing with this exercise set your camera on automatic or program mode as it about eliminating distraction and concentration on capture, and keep in mind, the result you are after is a portrait study that captures the moment – unique in its composition, and relies only on available light.

Before you take that trip, start your practice now and spend your travels with limited gear – its freeing and so rewarding. As a student of photography, your understanding of the technical aspects is an ongoing learning process that varies from camera to camera; so find a quiet place for study.

All Images: © Renay Elle Morris