Denis Cherim

Denis Cherim

Good pictures do not come about concidence

Denis Cherim was born in 1987 in Romania and grew up and still living in in Madrid, Spain.

Before he had even finished high school, he realised that he could express himself better through pictures than through words and began to take photographs intensively.

He earned his first money as a photographer at social events and is now a photographic artist who has been presenting his photographs at various exhibitions since 2016. Various awards, and as well as various stays as an artist in residence enable him to further develop his art.

In doing so, the self-taught photographer's curiosity serves him well. He is interested in everyday objects that have the secret potential to become main characters. He searches for answers in places that lie hidden. And finds in his camera the perfect tool and ally to discover the impressive history of our not always impressive reality.

Today, Denis Cherim works as a freelance photographer and filmmaker. But like many other photographers, he cannot distinguish between passion and work, and experiments a lot and develops his own projects around his photo camera, which he uses to tell people how he sees and feels our reality. 

He is aware that the nature of his photography does not correspond to orthodox street photography, although, with the addition of "humanless", it feels exactly like that.

First time he came in contact with Ricoh GR III was in winter 2019. He decided to buy it after long research and it was a coincidence he received the street edition as a prize of the SPi Awards 2020 few months later – lucky boy he is.

In the meantime, he has added a GR IIIx to his equipment in order to implement new ideas with the other focal length.

Denis Cherim - Good pictures do not come about concidence

As the winner of the International SPi Street Photography Awards 2020, supported by Ricoh Imaging, Denis Cherim was no stranger to us. We were all the happier when we had the opportunity to meet him in person at the opening of the exhibition "TALKING... & OTHER BANANA SKINS" in June 2022. "This lively and colourful exhibition provocatively invites a dialogue with urban and contemporary art" (quote from the website for the exhibition, which can be seen until December 2024). And it is precisely in this context that his motifs emerge.

“Concidence" plays an important role in this. Whereby some people think that a “coincidence" is something that happened by chance and that Denis' photos are composed. But it is rather the case that he composes existing visual elements in such a way that he thereby creates a new sight.

In this way, all his pictures are not created by “concidence”. It is just that he always manages to put the components together in such a way that they result in a special composition.

We are happy to learn more about his current project here.





Coincidence Project:

I began to develop the Coincidence Project already ten years ago in the form of a 365 days diary. Over time this project has become of a great interest for me and a focal point in my everyday life and work.

In order to create these images, I am applying the technique of juxtaposition to ordinary objects and landscapes which helps me establish (or reveal) unexpected connections between them. Thus the participating elements in the scene start interacting with each other and a new sight is born.

The play of foreground and background, light and shadow, colors and forms turns the otherwise boring mise-en-scène into a main character. Space becomes an event. The superficial and deep, redundant and required lose their initial meaning and show us a different view, different story, different world. Those hidden connections are dynamic; they are elusive and ever changing. Like moments from an endless dialogue, like a love story between things. These bonds show a different face of the world of inanimate. There a cloud and a tree might become couple; the concrete might be having a soul.

I intend to create images that look altered by only using my point and shoot camera straight on the field. The only use of Photoshop here is to correct the white balance and exposure so I can capture the scenarios that are usually hidden and not quite visible at first sight. Because in times when society is being bombarded by information and images, the surroundings go unnoticed and often seem banal. Through the photographs of "coincidences" I am able to observe and prove that our world is still in possession of mystery and artistic magic. Nothing is what it appears to be; everything could be anything. There are no colors, nor real forms, except those we create in our mind in the moment of contemplation. And the old “I is other” is as valid for us, as for the world around us.

The moment of observation is not neutral, nor innocent. It wounds the being by choosing singular interpretation. The gaze builds a story and illusion of understanding. But do we actually see what we understand? Do we understand what we see? The moment of observation is a moment of creation. There the light meets the dark of our mind. There the reality meets our imagination. And that is where the greatest Photoshop of human perception lays.

Our reality is a matter of interpretation and a whole lot of illusions – from the socially accepted regulations to the visual incongruities and discrepancies. By finding a coinciding point of view, I can show a new parallel reality. I can tell a new story and chose a new interpretation. I can discover the alter ego of the ordinary objects, namely their hidden artistic value.

My search focuses on those details that could make something well known and ordinary to become other, unexpected, even surprising. I approach this world of many faces as a riddle hoping rather to find a new question, knowing there are no answers. I translate this into the universal language of images and search into the camouflage of matter.

We live in perpetual conflict between two types of knowledge: the intuitive and spontaneous, as opposed to the thoughtful and reflective knowledge. Due to social conditioning we tend to estimate everything, we polarize each fact trying to achieve some kind of understanding. We separate the good from the bad, the beautiful from the ugly, the high from the low, the near from the far, in a constant struggle to define the big picture through choosing only one singular sight and meaning. We invade our life and space with those rigid meanings only to be defeated by them. But there is no grip huge enough to embrace the whole of life. We can only contemplate its majesty and accept the littleness of human condition.

By creating this project, I intent to investigate the underlying canvas of the Whole through the juxtapositions of the elements that surround us daily. By gathering all these coincidences in my images, I am detecting the dimension of the existing layers and possible sights. It is like discovering a new universe, free of any visual routine or habit, which reminds us not only to see but to seek, not only to divide but to coincide: with our here and now, with ourselves and the world. Like the glue of gravity that brings everything together, the universal integrity manifests itself thru the coincidences of the small things and let us feel its magic, to steal a glance at its majesty.

For the act of seeing is often deceiving and the act of knowing is not less misleading, I choose to imagine. I coincide with unknowing.



Selection of his work:  


Denis' preferred equipment:

Ricoh GR III camera


A high-end digital compact camera
RICOH GR III Street Edition Kit

RICOH GR III Street Edition Kit

In ever-changing city views, capture once-in-forever moments


The ultimate snapshot camera