Denis Piel

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Denis Piel was born in France on 1 March 1944, raised in Australia and educated in the United States. He currently lives in the south-west of France. He is an internationally acclaimed award winning photographer and filmmaker primarily recognised for his influential approach within the field of fashion photography in the 1980s.


Piel's father, Serge was French; his mother, Lily came from a wealthy Jewish family in Vienna. She was at university in Paris when the war broke out. She joined the resistance there. Lily escaped the occupied zone after being warned not go home as the gestapo were waiting for her. She eventually made her way to Marseille after a brief "séjour" at the Septfonds Internment Camp near Montauban – a guard released her because she spoke such good French. She met Serge Piel at the croque-fruits[1] in Marseille. They married in 1942; their first son Marc was born the same year. Lily's father had stayed in Paris. Lily later found out that he had been rounded up in the raffle of the Vel d'Hiv and was deported to Auschwitz – he did not survive[2] Serge and Lily left Marseille when it was occupied, once again they were warned not to return home as they were being hunted by German police. They left for Lormes where they joined the resistance of the Morvan.[3] Denis was born in March 1944 – he and his brother were separated from their parents until the end of September. Their story is told in a book about the Maquis of the Morvan.[4] After the war ended Denis' parents emigrated with their children to Australia seeking a new life and escape from the terrors of the war.

Denis grew up not knowing any of this family background. His paternal grandfather was Jean Piel[5] the editor of the intellectual revue Critique. Jean Piel was married to Simone Maklès – one of the famed Maklès sisters. Her sister Rose was married to the Surrealist painter André Masson, and Sylvia, famous for her role in the Jean Renoir film Partie de campagne, was married to Georges Bataille and then to the renowned psychiatrist Jacques Lacan. "Piel was therefore close to the centre of what would become a new post-war avant-garde. He was a mediator, little known to the general public but extremely influential behind the scenes of intellectual life."[6]

Serge was studying in the merchant marines when the war broke out. In Australia he developed a new life first as a glove designer and manufacturer and later as a fisherman, returning to his first love, the sea. Serge was killed in a car accident in 1966. Lily continued her education in Australia as an educator and received her doctorate, becoming a professor of French and German at Melbourne University. When denis was twelve his parents separated. Lily subsequently moved back to her beloved Paris and worked for UNESCO. She died there in 2002.

Piel's step-mother, Mary Hind-Roberts who had worked with major photographers during her time at The Australian Wool Board in London, gave Piel his first camera and encouraged him in the pursuit of photography.

Early career[edit]

Piel began his career in Brisbane, Australia as an apprentice litho printer in 1961. During his apprenticeship he worked with images coming into the studio which he considered unremarkable. Convinced that he could produce more compelling images and that a career in photography would offer a more interesting lifestyle, the following year Piel secured a position as an assistant in a commercial photography studio, thanks to his brother Marc who was in advertising.

Two years later Piel was offered a position as photographer in a printing house. He subsequently opened his own studio in 1966. Meeting with early and sustained commercial success thanks to a couple of early mentors, he worked for a diverse client base shooting an array of subjects, from industrial subjects, to portraits and fashion for a department store. A modest assignment with Vogue Australia prompted him to move to Melbourne where he specialised in fashion photography, working for clients such as Pol and Vogue Australia. A Sydney based editor at Pol, Robyn Batey, became his mentor and encouraged him to move overseas to explore his creativity further.


The 1970s found Piel in Paris, London and Milan with occasional stints in Hamburg, mostly shooting fashion and some advertising. During this period Piel joined EAT (Experiments in Art and Technology) which sought to bring together professionals from engineering and artistic disciplines to develop and realise new concepts with technology. His fascination with the potential of holographic images led him to experiment during this period with three dimensional constructed models.

Piel found another mentor in Pierre Levallois from Votre Beauté who gave him regular assignments and encouraged his pursuits in art projects. His work appeared in Elle, Marie Claire, Votre Beauté and the advertising division of French Vogue as well as numerous magazines in the UK, Germany and Italy. In advertising he worked with diverse clients from Coca Cola to the perfume house of Molyneux, diversifying further his eclectic list of clients. In the late 70s his desire to explore new horizons took him to New York and his first assignment in the States with New York Times Magazine. This shoot in 1979 came to the attention of Alexander Liberman, editor with Condé Nast publications, and after several initial assignments with Vogue, Piel was offered a contract with Condé Nast, an agreement reserved for a select few such as Penn and Avedon.


In the 1980s Piel moved permanently to New York where he rapidly came to be considered one of the ‘wonder-boys’ of American fashion photography, notably with the Condé Nast group. Called to Vogue by Libermann, he brought a sensuality and eroticism that became his signature, with a directorial approach, fusing an intimate narrative into the images he created.

Although appreciative of Avedon, Penn, Newton and others, Piel cites a stronger influence from filmmakers; Stanley Kubrick, Satyajit Ray, Bertolucci, Antonioni, Cassavetes, Bergman, Kazan, Truffaut and Kurosawa. Press photography also influenced his work. The key qualities which interested Piel were narrative and emotional engagement. Piel has always been drawn to new technologies, keen to explore the potential of a developing medium.

As Piel's career progressed his working method as photographer-director transmuted into a committed interest in film directing inspired by an experience as technical advisor on the James Toback film Exposed (1983). Starring Rudolf Nureyev and Nastassja Kinski, the actor Ian McShane plays fashion photographer Greg Miller, a character directly modeled on Piel.

This was a pivotal point in Piel's career, filmmakers had influenced his directorial approach to photography and he began to explore that passion further. Despite not finishing high school, he was accepted as a student at NYU Tisch school of the arts,[7]] to a two-year part-time writing, directing and acting course thanks to letters of recommendation from Libermann and others with whom he had worked. He opened his own film company Jupiter Films in 1985 with offices in NYC, Chicago and LA and worked internationally in cooperation with Window Productions, Sydney Australia, Frog Films, France and PetersenNauman, Germany. As a writer and director of commercials Piel worked with global brands and garnered numerous international awards.

During this period he continued his work with the Condé Nast group shooting mainly for Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair and Self and with an increasing number of advertising campaigns crossing from stills to film. In the mid-80s he collaborated with Peter Arnell, from Arnell Bickford, a fledgling advertising agency, and was instrumental in the concept and execution of the first Donna Karan campaigns – purely abstract images of New York city. The campaign received major press, catapulting the emerging agency into a hot shop of creativity providing Piel a venue for what would become some of the most innovative advertising of the 80s. Piel's increasingly diverse clients included Benson & Hedges, which he won in competition with Bruce Weber and instigated the campaign 'for people who like to smoke', to the Canada Dry TV campaign also for Wells Rich & Green, Helena Rubinstein with (Publicis) which secured him a contract for five years, PHAS cosmetics, also with a contract, Revlon, L’Oreal, Avon, Bergdorf Goodman and Fortune Magazine amongst others. At this time Piel was also writing and directing commercials for The Wool Board in Australia, New Zealand Telecom, German Telecom, Shell, Canada Dry, Domino Beds, Jade, Clandestine perfume, Guerlain, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Campaign, Australia, Alegra magazine, Vogue Paris, Linda electrical appliances, Life's Good, Ansett Airlines, Nescafé and many more. This work often garnered international awards from Cannes to Sydney including an award for the seminal fashion video that he conceived and directed for Donna Karan in the mid-80s. His 'based in life' hyper-real cinematic imagery was the focus of most of this work. Piel used his approach, each subject playing a role when shooting his many portraits, each personality playing themselves. His portraiture work includes Geena Davis, Nastassja Kinski, Andie MacDowell, Daryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lillian Gish with Jeanne Moreau, Donald Sutherland, Joan Didion, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Mark Morris and many others.

Piel won the Leica Medal of Excellence for Commercial Photography in 1987.[8]


In 1989, Piel left Condé Nast to concentrate on film. He continued with his commercial advertising work both in film and stills during this period, however he stopped shooting editorial work except for an occasional stint for British Vogue and others. Piel produced and directed his first feature-length documentary Love is Blind in the early 1990s; in many ways the work is a precursor to reality TV. Love is Blind took him two years to research, cast, film and edit. Phillip Adams of the newspaper, The Australian wrote,

"This is a documentary about a marriage that went wrong, and it just so happens that the bride and groom are blind. Their blindness is secondary, almost incidental to what happens...the director has a special need, Denis Piel a highly successful photographer whose fashion spreads and celebrity portraits for glossy magazines have earnt him a considerable international reputation. He's also directed many stylish commercials for cosmetic products and fashion houses. He lives in a world where everything is visual, elegant and excruciatingly sophisticated. Like many fashion photographers, he seems to be trying to expiate guilts by having another life, by walking away from the values of the profession....."
".....By dealing with blindness, he has entirely turned his back on the world of visual experience. In his muted colours, with his static camera, in his disinclination to use the editing tricks of the fashion commercial, Piel denies everything he has learnt, everything that is instinctive to this profession...That a fashion photographer should seek some sort of redemption in the story of a blind couple isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that he has learnt a new craft so quickly, that he has learnt so quickly to tell a story in a way that's antithetical to what he does for a living. Every temptation to show off, and most opportunities to make editorial comment, are denied. Piel's discipline throughout is exemplary, and the minimalism of his approach makes the story all but unendurable. This is a film that you wish was over. At the same time, it's a film that you can neither escape nor forget."'

Piel's progression into independent filmmaking opened up areas of exploration in relation to raising capital to stay independent. He determined the only way to do that was through innovative fundraising ideas. He had self-financed Love is Blind and wanted to continue independently; having participated in 'breakfast meetings' in Hollywood, Piel realised that this was not the path he wished to pursue as he needed to maintain total creative control of his projects.

During the next several years Piel explored various film projects and attended film festivals with Love is Blind as well as shooting many TV commercials in France, Germany and Australia. He returned to the States to shoot a major campaign for Donna Karan in Florida as well as continuing his work for Helena Rubinstein. This period found Piel working in Australia, the USA, France, Kenya, Italy, Iceland, Estonia, the UK, Portugal, Holland, Spain and Germany.

During this time he was busy writing and researching scripts. IORA, his first fiction feature was written with Ted Horton, the advertising guru behind the internationally acclaimed Wool Board advertising campaign which Piel and Horton had worked on together in the 1980s. IORA and self-financing took Piel off on a new venture. With the idea of using it as the vehicle to finance and promote the film, Piel, with perfumier Michael Moisseeff, created an original scent; to be called IORA, after the lead character, an Australian Ethnomusicologist, the original perfume evoked scents of Australia and Piel's childhood. The project included bottle design and packaging.

During this period he also wrote a TV concept for a reality show called Encounters, researched the possibility with the author, Luke Rhinehart to make the book DICEMEN into a feature film and researched, interviewed and wrote for another original film, Spindrift a romantic thriller set in Italy and Africa.

All the time he was commuting to France having bought the Château de Padiès where his wife, Elaine Merkus with their son, Olivier were now living and supervising the restoration of the property – what was to become a seven-year project.

In 1999 the whole family moved back to Manhattan and new adventures.

2000 to present[edit]

It was the boom. Piel's previous association with EAT ( Experiments in Art and Technology) in Paris, bringing together creative minds from various disciplines was to prove formative for Piel who went on to establish theideasbank® and 'umbershoot which utilized a similar ethos, bringing people together from diverse backgrounds to work collaboratively. It was to be Piel's way of self-financing and staying independent. The core group built a management team, hired software developers, a PR company, Solicited Technological partners like Sorenson, General Dynamics, Apple, and many others who no longer exist. They put all their efforts into making it a success.

The concept for 'umbershoot was a company that would offer a single place for people and enterprises to come together under one umbrella (bumbershoot) to find the tools and human resources they need to seed and develop early stage ideas, target investors, test market their concepts and promote and brand their completed projects. ‘umbershoot was a means of actualizing ideas.

theideasbank® articulates with ‘umbershoot, while ‘umbershoot was the vehicle that would actualize ideas, theideasbank® was the place where ideas were collated, assessed and evaluated.

Then the crash and 9/11 impacted seriously on all this adventure. The servers had been housed in the World Trade Center. Partners and potential partners were declaring bankruptcy. It was time to stop and reevaluate.

Piel and his family left the States to conversely begin a new life in France. Piel defines this period as a 'retreat'. The family decided to make their place in France, the Château de Padiès, the center of their operations, a cultural centre and model for sustainable living. A new chapter!

In 2005 just as they were leaving NY Piel was contacted by John Vertin asking if he could shoot for the magazine ISSUE. This collaboration became instrumental in an ongoing relationship with John Vertin, Wynn Smith and Jan Dikkers the owner and creator of the magazine. It resulted in fashion narratives for New York Magazine, Arena Homme + shot at Padiès. When Jan became creative director at Amazon in 2011, wanting to feature fashion online in a more contemporary way, he brought in Piel.

Back in France Piel continued to pursue personal photographic and film projects. He had time to explore some of his previous work.

Throughout his career Piel has concurrently pursued personal photographic projects one of which is PLATESCAPES, images of meals that he has had. Most of these images were created during the 90's on commercial shoots or at private dinners. These are not images of beautiful meals plated and presented, PLATESCAPES document the end of the meal, the remnants of what was desired and has now been consumed, these are quite literally images of consumption. In relation to Piel's larger body of work it is difficult not to wonder whether PLATESCAPES questions the work born out of commercial briefs and a growing dissatisfaction with the industry. Within commercial photography the viewer is often presented with the beautiful image, the image that instills desire. In PLATESCAPES the image of desire is displaced, the moment of desire exists before the current image or hours after the image when hunger is re-ignited. PLATESCAPES positions Piel not as the architect of visual desire, but the consumer, the sated, the satisfied, with a number of images titled ‘Enough!’.

PLATESCAPES was originally exhibited in WOA, Lisbon in 2006 after Frederic Coustols, stepfather of Gonçalo Leandro, owner of WOA, discovered the work on a visit to Château de Padies. The images were exhibited with conversations which were recorded during the meals. The juxtaposition of the durational and the static, audio recording and photograph, shift the work dramatically. These group meals can be read as a leveling of the group, an activity which recasts the group in commonality and dissipates the conscious structure of the day, opening up a space for unprescribed conversations and engagements; a wresting of conscious control.

Exploring further his preoccupation with sight, Piel spent a year shooting Premier Oeil which captures the first image he sees on waking, the first sight in the morning consciously giving pleasure. The dual nature, impairment or loss of that sense, sight, and other ways of being when sight is not a primary means of receiving information about the world and others, may reference his own period of temporary loss of sight when he was nineteen. He continues to work on this project.

In contrast to Piel's fashion and editorial work which seeks to capture beauty, FACESCAPES explores the inevitable effects of the passage of time upon the face. He began work on this ongoing project in 2005 and so far has taken the project from Lempaut in France, to China and Australia. Piel was prolific during the period in the fashion industry in which models were elevated to Supermodel status, a celebration of individuality and celebrity. In contrast the subjects of FACESCAPES are unknown to the viewer, unknowable as an individual from the tiny detail of a face enlarged and thus abstracted. As a viewer, these subjects shot in close-up loom monumental behind the frame of the shot, literally 'larger than life', a kind of paradoxical commonality held with the celebrities, the 'larger than life' personalities that Piel has shot for most of his career. FACESCAPES presents the viewer with a larger than life 'Everyman', confronting the viewer with the equalising process of physical aging. Is Piel questioning the artificial stasis of fashion and beauty images of everlasting youth which in reality require constant consumption of young beautiful models? The art historian Memory Holloway writes;

FACESCAPES Memory Holloway

"Time and its footprints are the topic of Piel's film and photographs. This interest veers in two directions. One, the momentary effects of time, in which he records the minute by minute changes that occur in human life….. These are the residues of recent moments, small instances of time that mark the minutes and hours of the day. There is that other, slower movement of time, the longe durée, through which the photographer charts the incremental effects of time on the human body, the slow but palpable process of aging, as well as the effects of time on a community and its inhabitants…..Brief moments on one hand, time over time on the other. In either case, his method is to move in close to the sitters that he records. He comes to know them and their habits. He converses with them and asks them personal questions. He takes an interest in the events of their daily life, and he is as alert to what they leave behind as to what they embody. Finally, he chooses the arrested moment through which the story is told......"
….. in Facescapes, Piel has turned away from the commodified body towards the socialized body. The clue to his newest photographs lies in the films that run parallel to them in form and content. His cinema project is ambitious, where he is in search of some larger overarching meaning that he seeks to know….Seen together as a whole, these photographs constitute an archive that functions between two poles. One is abstract…. The other pole is figurative and points to a specific person that we might identify….There is
a 'grotesque' factor in these photographs that resides somewhere between intense realism and abstraction. This uncertainty between modes is a key to the attraction of the work.”."'[9]
Memory Holloway teaches contemporary art history at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where she is on the executive board of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. She has written, Making Time: Picasso’s Suite 347 (2006) and Paula Rego: Open Secrets (1999), exhibited in Massachusetts and Paris at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and has worked as art critic in London, New York and Australia.[10]

Piel instigated and formed CCiiff ( Intercultural International film festival) in 2009 inspired by his Facescapes Project. The festival has been held every year since then with this year a retrospective of the festival being held in Mauritius at the invitation of FIP (foundation for intercultural and Peace). This is a non- for profit association run out of the Culture&Cultures Association formed at Padiès with Piel as its director.

Personally driven projects continue with his newest photography project Down to Earth. Down to Earth suggests a ‘realistic’ perspective, a straightforward attitude, the Earth as basic - essential; it also implies gravity, and by inference, the human body. Down to Earth encompasses the idea of returning to the source, to the origin, returning ‘home’. The project is a celebration of living closely with the natural world, an exploration of embodied experience in an elemental environment which also draws upon the rich cultural history of our relationship to the earth; from inscribing the earth with mythical narrative, to our physical interaction with the earth.

The book, denis piel – MOMENTS, a retrospective of his photographic work exploring his unique vision, was published by Rizzoli in September 2012 and designed by the highly reputed Ruth Ansel . Previously in the 1980s two books were designed showcasing Piel’s photography, one by Mary Shanahan and another by Wynn Dan. However other priorities took over and neither were ever published. Another book, emphasizing his unique cinematic approach during the 80's is planned for 2015.


Although appreciative of Avedon, Penn, Newton and others, Piel cites a stronger influence from filmmakers, like Stanley Kubrick, Satyajit Ray, Bertolucci, Antonioni, Cassavettes, Bergman, Kazan, Truffaut, Kurosawa, and also press photographs on his work, the key quality being narrative and emotionally stimulating. And inevitably his parents concern with humanity had an enormous influence on his direction. New technologies have also always encouraged him to explore new possibilities.



2013 ESSENCE ROVE Exhibition, London, UK

2013 MOMENTS Galerie PINXIT, Toulouse, France

2013 MOMENTS Staley Wise Gallery, Book signing exhibition, NY, USA.

2010 FACESCAPES TRANSITIONS, 'Musée du Textile' å Labastide Rouairoux, France.
2010 FACESCAPES Musée du Point de Vue, Brussels, Belgium.
2009 FACESCAPES Theatre de Castres, France.
2008 FACESCAPES WOA-Way of Arts, Lisbon, Portugal
2008 FACESCAPES Museu de Traje, Lisbon, Portugal
2007 FACESCAPES Alliance Française, Sydney Australia
2007 PLATESCAPES 'WOA- Way of Arts, Lisbon, Portugal
2003 ENCOUNTERS Staley Wise Gallery, New York
1986 DONNA KARAN, International Centre of Photography at Bergdorf Goodman, New York.
1982 A QUIET OBSESSION, Staley Wise Gallery, New York.


2012 THE NUDE INTERPRETED Staley Wise Gallery, New York
2010 FOCUS MODE, Musée du Textile å Labastide Rouairoux, France with Frank Horvat
1994 FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY, The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, USA
1989 MAGES OF DESIRE, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia
1989 PORTRAYALS OF RECENT ADVERTISING PHOTOGRAPHY, International Museum of Photography, Rochester, New York.
1987 THE ART OF PERSUASIAN – A History of Advertising Photography, International Center of Photography, New York.
1986 THE STARS OF PHOTOGRAPHY, The Cartier Foundation, Paris
1986 SHOTS OF STYLE IN PHOTOGRAPHY,Victoria and ALbert Mueum, London
1986 THE FASHIONABLE IMAGE, The Mint Museum, North Carolina
1985 Fotogalleriet, Oslo, Norway
1984 SUMMER LIGHTS, Staley Wise Gallery, New York
1982 MEN OF STYLE, Staley Wise Gallery, New York

Personal life[edit]

In 1969 Piel had a short lived marriage, which resulted in separation the following year and divorce seven years later. Piel had two other long term relationships amongst numerous affairs during the years 1971 to 1986 when he meet his present wife Elaine Merkus an art curator from Monash University gallery in Melbourne, Australia whilst on a visit to New York putting a show together called Here and There[11] which has symbolised their life every since. They lived in New York with a summer house upstate NY. They have one son Olivier, born in 1988 who, after pursuing an art career, decided that his love of plants was dominant in his life. He has studied Permaculture and is currently running the Padiès permaculture farm and its experiment in sustainability.

They bought Padiès, a twelfth-century château renovated in the 17th century in 1992 which they renovated to its present form from what was fast becoming a ruin. During this period of renovation Piel commuted between NY and Padiès whilst the work was being supervised by Elaine who had studied architecture before pursuing a career in arts management. They moved back to New York in 1999. Living and working in New York in 2001, the aftermath of 9/11 and the dot com crash impacted on many of Piel's ventures and they retreated to Château du Padiès and sold New York several years later, making Padiès the center of all their operations, where they still live today with Padiès being developed as a model of sustainability.

Chateau du Padiès[edit]

Piel and Merkus moved to Lempaut in the Tarn canton where they established their current venture :

Les Jardins du Château de Padiès – Agriculture / Culture / Nature
The Château de Padiès is a beautiful renaissance château built of locally fired brick and stone. It is set in the countryside overlooking a potager (vegetable garden) with raised beds set in between antique fruit trees, surrounded by boxwood hedges and century old oak trees, a bamboo grove, a developing orchard, deciduous woodlands, and winding boxwood pathways. In the field adjacent to the château grounds the project of creating a large scale seasonally changing labyrinthine walk was started in 2005. The pastoral hedges, which form the backbone of the maze, are aligned with the contours in harmony with the natural lay of the land. The garden of discovery as we call it, is an experiment in agro ecology and is being developed following permaculture and sustainable development principals. The Padies project is an attempt to reinstate Padiès into its cultural and sustainable context. As dynamic as the team behind it, the château is the site of cultural festivals, various workshops, artist gatherings, and a developing artist in residence programme.
The Château's exceptional façades are listed on the supplementary list of the Monuments Historic (ISMH) and the gardens are open to the public.


1997 Effie Awards France Nescafe Les divorcee Publicis
1995 Won Chicago Film Festival acclaimed documentary "Love is Blind"
1995 Lions 1995. International Advertising Film Festival, Cannes Finalist client Axel Springer Hamburg Germany
1994 "Love is Blind" selected for presentation for “Dark et Noir” special series at the Videotheque de Paris, France. Others in the series included Leos Carax, Serge Moati, Paul Cox, Sacha Guitry, Jacques-Gerard Comu, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Wim

Winders, Charlie Chaplin, Raphael Caussimon, Arthur Penn, Ingmar Bergman, Jim Jarmusch, Dino Risi, Joselyn Moorhouse, Douglas Sirk, Jean-Marie Gigon, Abel Gance and Joel Santoni.

1994 "Love is Blind" selected for introduction screening first look series sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company, Tibeca Film center, The New York Foundation for the Arts.
1994 The New York Festivals finalist Award. "La Maison" Agency CLM BBDO Paris France
1994 Effie Award France in "services" category Client Pompes Funebres agency CLM BBDO Paris France
1992 LIONS 1992. International Advertising Film Festival, CANNES. Two Bronze Lion Awards for Direction: (Jade/Son et Lumiere Film) Category 10: Cosmetics and Toiletries. "Caressing" and "Free Version". Finalist: (Jade/Son et Lumiere Film) Category: Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumes. "Hugging"
1990 31st Annual Clio Awards Honoring Advertising Excellence Worldwide. International TV/Cinema Recognition: Toiletries/ Pharmaceuticals. Johnson's Baby Powder – "Parallel Pleasure".
1990 Clio Awards. International TV/Cinema Recognition: Apparel Woolboard – "Only Wool Can Do It".
1988 The Art Directors Club 67th Annual Exhibition: Merit Award – Director, "Relaxation" For Cadbury Schweppes.
1988 Australian TV Bureau of Advertising FACTS Awards. – Television New Zealand Award – "Tolls" – Telecom Corporation. – Highly Commended: Music & Soundtracks – "Only Wool Can Do It"—Series: "Telecom Corporation" – Corporate: "Telecom Corporation" – "Telecom Office Equipment". – Best Editing: "Only Wool Can Do It". – Clothing – "Only Wool Can Do It".
1988 Australian Writers and Art Directors Awards (AWARD), Sydney. Best Commercial, Best Concept, Best Director, Craft in Television and Cinema: Direction, Editing, Soundtrack, Cinematography for: "Only Wool Can Do It" Australian Wool Corporation and Telecom. Only silver award recipient for TV that year
1988 Melbourne Art Director's Club Awards Australian Wool Coorporation: Best Editing,Best Cinematography, Certificate of Commendation, Illoura Award for Best Commercial over 45 seconds, BOP Ad Consultants Award for Best Commercial over 45 seconds
1988 CEBA Awards for Merit "in Advertising and Communications to Black Communities and for continued pioneering efforts in the field".
1988 LIONS 1988–International Advertising Film Festival. CANNES. Diploma for Telecom "Tolls".
1987 The Leica Medal of Excellence for Commercial Photography in 1987
1987 Australian Writers and Art Directors (AWARD), Sheridan Textiles, Best of Category: Print-Mixed Media Campaign, Best of Category: Print-Supersites.
1986 VIDEOMODA – International fashion video conference. Milan. Donna Karan video.
1986 First Annual Fashion Video Awards.
  • Best Women's Fragrance TV Commercial – Anne Klein Perfume
  • Concept Video Director of the Year – Donna Karan
  • Women's Apparel Concept Video – Donna Karan
  • Short Form Concept Video of the Year – Donna Karan
1985 28th Annual International Film & TV Festival of New York. Finalist for "Anne Klein Woman".

Films and videos[edit]

  • FACESCAPES Latitude43.53333 longitude 2.066666 (2005)
  • Love is Blind (1993)


  1. ^ TANGUY, Delphine, Croque-Fruits, la coopérative marseillaise qui aidait les juifs et résistants,, 27 December 2010, published 16h26
  2. ^ He was taken in the Vel d’Hiv roundup 17 July 1942. He was taken to Auschwitz where he was exterminated 27 July 1942. He was part of the convoy No 9, 22 July 1942. There were 615 men from 16 to 77 years old and 385 women from 16 to 67 years old, all arrested in Paris during the roundups of 16 and 17 July.
  3. ^
  4. ^ TUAL Yves & BLEMUS – Ceux du Maquis – Plainefas, Vermot, Les Goths – Maquis Camille. S.l.n.d. (I.G.N. imp. 1944), les personnages et la vie du « Maquis Camille ». 30 illustrations, donc deux avec sergeant FRANCE – Lilly PIEL.
  5. ^
  6. ^ MACY, David, Michel Foucault, Reaktion Books, 2004 p.24
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Holloway, Memory, TIME, and TIME again, denis piel FACESCAPES, Exhibition Catalogue, Museo Nacional do Traje, Lisbon, 2008, pgs 14 – 17, pg 15. ISBN 978-989-20-1134-9
  10. ^ Memory Holloway: Biography, U Mass Dartmouth, website accessed 21 August 2012
  11. ^ Merkus, Elaine, Here & There – Overseas Residency and Recent Australian Artists, Monash University Gallery, 1987. ISBN 0 86746 811 4

External links[edit]


  • Planet Notion, Charlie Clarkson, ″Denis Piel: Essence a Retrospective″, April, 2013
  • the Guardian, Sarah Phillips, ″Denis Piel's Best photograph, Man Ray″ 17 April 2013
  • Phoenix, Walter Adrian, ″Denis Piel ESSENCE″, April 10, 2013
  • Hunger TV, ″Get to Know: Denis Piel″, April 10, 2013
  • Watching Photographs, Erica Payet, Essence/Denis Piel, April 13, 2013
  • SchonMagazine, Li Yin Soh ″The Essence of Photography″, 10 April 2013
  • Rangefinder, Jim Cornfield, ″The Sensual Storyteller″ December, 2012
  • Donna's Journal, ″Moving Pictures″, October,2012
  • Dazed Digital, Karen Orton, Last Shot: ″Denis Piel Raw Sensuality from a fashion master″, Oct 2012
  • Sports & Style, Antoine Fombonne, Denis Piel Objectif femmes des annees 80, 25 September 2012
  • Purple Diary, ″Denis Piel MOMENTS, published by Rizzoli is out Now″ September 2012
  •, ″Book : Denis Piel Moments″, September, 2012
  • New York Observer, Drew Grant Model Behavior: ″Model Behavior:Denis Piel Has a Way With Women″ September 11, 2012
  • Treats magazine, ″Denis Piel: The Moment is Here″, August 30, 2012
  • The New York Times, Ruth La Ferla ″Real to the Touch″ August 17, 2012
  • * Sydney Morning Herald (Nov 97) Robin Oliver "Views from a silent world" Sydney Morning Herald (13 March 1996)
  • Doug Anderson "The blind leading the blind" L’Express 28 November 1996 "Le sitcom de Nescafe"
  • The Australian ( 9–10 March 1996) Phillip Adams "Insights of unseen marriage"
  • Madame Figaro France. (20Avril,1996) “Les Publicitaires font leur cinema!.. La love story nescafe”
  • Laura Cordin. Figaro.( Thursday 7 August 1997.) "Le difficile pari de la verite"
  • Los Angeles .Laemmle's Sunset 5 ( 4 August 1995.) review "Love isBlind"
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Lectures / Workshops[edit]

guest lecturer at the New School for Social Research/Parson's School of Design
guest lecturer at the Maine Photographic Workshops, Masters Class Workshop
guest lecturer at the Washington Smithsonian Institution, "Masters of Photography" series