Michel Tcherevkoff is a New York-based conceptual photographer who has pushed the boundaries of reality for his advertising, editorial, and corporate clients. The recipient of hundreds of awards for creativity and design, his work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. His visual book, The Image Maker, was a tongue-in-cheek retrospective of the first 20 years of his career when he worked without digital technology. His latest work uses digital images that are enhanced and manipulated in Adobe Photoshop and other software programs.
Tcherevkoff has a photographer's eye that is one part attention, one part wonder, and one part imagination. So it's not surprising that one day in his studio he observed that an image he'd just taken of a leaf looked like a shoe. Before long, he writes in the introduction to this four-color book, "All kinds of floral fantasies began dancing in my head." From real flowers and leaves collected at a nearby flower market, he created a whole collection of flower shoes and bags. Each image is made out of multiple digital images of a single plant or flower.
The 75 shoes and bags are organized into seasons: Fall, Resort, Spring, and Bridal. Titles and witty catalog-style copy accompanying each spread are part of the fun. "Fort Knox," created out of golden leaves, has "Enough gold to support her forever." "Troy" has an exposed Achilles heel, while the heel of "Chiquita" is made of bananas. "Border Crossing" is constructed from cactus spikes you might encounter in the desert, while "Ivy League" has a sole, spike heel, and ties made entirely of ivy leaves. The "Lily White" bridal shoe has "just the lift she'll need to look directly into his eyes when they kiss." Click on the gallery at right to see what we mean when we say these shoes and bags are creative, stylish, and often hilarious. Just what we need!
Play is one of the spiritual practices we feature on this website, and Michel Tcherevkoff is a master of it. He says these images "come from an untraceable place in my mind where colors, forms, and fantasies become images." Reading that, we remembered Robert Sardello's suggestion that we bring our souls alive by "daily clothing the world with imagination." And, too, we thought Ralph Waldo Emerson observation: "It is a happy talent to know how to play."