Lot Details

Denis Piel, Gia Bathtime 10, New York, 1980. c print print size is 14x17 inches, Edition 3/50. Signed and dated.

Gia Marie Carangi (January 29, 1960 – November 18, 1986) was an American fashion model, considered possibly the first super model. A biography of Carangi by Stephen Fried called "Thing of Beauty" (a reference to the famous John Keats quote, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever") was published in 1993. A biographical film, "Gia," debuted on HBO in 1998. The film starred Angelina Jolie, whose portrayal of the famous model earned her a Golden Globe. Carangi was a frequent subject in Piel's photographs.
Denis Piel (b1944) is a photographer and film-maker currently living and working in the South West of France.

Piel was born in France during the Second World War to Serge and Lily Piel, activists in the French Resistance. At the end of the war Piel’s parents emigrated with their children to Australia to begin a new life. In Brisbane and later Melbourne, Piel began working in photography before moving to Europe in the early 1970s.

In France Piel began to discover his family background which was unknown to him until then. His grandfather was Jean Piel, the editor of the intellectual review Critique; his extended family also encompassed the renowned psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan and the Surrealist painter Andre Masson.

Rising to prominence in the field of fashion photography, 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, during which time he won the Leica Medal for Excellence in Commercial Photography 1987. He also began producing commercials, notably the iconic New York campaign for Donna Karan and The Wool Board campaign, Australia.

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 occasionally. Piel produced and directed his first feature length documentary Love is Blind in the early 1990s.

The progression into independent film-making inspired Piel to set up Jupiter Films, a film production company; he also set up Umbershoot and the theideasbank, vehicles which would enable people to work together collaboratively.

After 9/11 and the dot.com crash Piel and his family moved permanently to Lempaut in the South West of France to live and work at Château de Padiès, a renaissance Château which they have been restoring since 1992. The property comprises the Château and also Les Jardin du Château de Padiès which are open to the public. The gardens at Padiès are an experiment in agro ecology and are being developed following permaculture and sustainable development principals. Padiès and the local environment have become a source of inspiration for Piel and are central to his current photographic practice.

In September 2012 Rizzoli published a retrospective of Piel’s work shot between 1979 and 2007. 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.

Piel is currently undertaking a period of research and development in preparation for his upcoming project ‘Down to Earth’, a celebration of living


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Publication: NYTimes magazine 1980, Book " denis piel - MOMENTS" published by Rizzoli 2012
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Provenance:
  • artist
  • Pickup Location: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 14 x 17 in. (35.56 x 43.18 cm.)

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