Wayne Schoenfeld


Documentary Books and Films:

Schoenfeld’s documentary photo books include Brittle Glory: The Face of Change (Turkey and Cuba), Almost Perfect (Vietnam) Awarded Best Book of 2004 by an Independent Publisher, Mission to India written by award winning veteran journalist Rex Weiner, Through This World But Once (Ethiopia), Footprints in the Sand with a foreword by Rev. Mpho Tutu and Everyday Heroes series honoring volunteer doctors from around the world. www.greatcirclebooks.com www.aandi.com/books

In 2008 Schoenfeld produced and directed the international film festival favorite, The Memory Box. Filmed entirely in Ethiopia. The landscape and the people of this exotic land are seen through the eyes of a Chaplinesque jester from Clowns Without Bodrers. The film challenges the cynical predictability of the tragedy of Africa.

In 2010 Schoenfeld’s television series “Everyday Heroes” was honored with two episodes, “Everyday is a Gift’ – filmed in South Africa and “In the Shadow of Shangri-La” – filmed in Nepal recognized as Outstanding TV Series Segments at the My Hero International Film Festival in Los Angeles. www.newdemocracyproductions.com


“Schoenfeld takes pictures rather than photographs, his carefully orchestrated images appear, at a glance, like classic paintings”. International Herald Tribune, New York Times.

Schoenfeld is best know for his tableau vivants, including The Rape of the Sabine Women and Icons/Iconoclasts which have appeared in many publications including Harpers Bazarr and American Photo Magazine and.exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Canada, throughout Europe and Asia. Schoenfeld’s images are in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Contemporary Art (Seoul), Cirque du Soleil (Montreal), National Museum -Complesso del Vittoriano (Rome), County Arts Commission (Santa Barbara). Schoenfeld's "Icons/Iconoclasts" Suite begins a European Tour in Paris January 2010.

Schoenfeld’s figurative work has gained increasing recognition since his first published book of nudes in 2004 Surface Tension. International art critic, Peter Frank said Schoenfeld’s nude images are "Challenging photos... Images that treat the body simultaneously as sentient organism and as sculpture - voluptuously charged... These photos conjure Canova, Stieglitz, Dega and Modigliani –heroic.” Recent monograph books by Schoenfeld include: (French and English) Masques et Mystères (2009 Great Circle Books) and Masques et Mystères: Revisité (2010 Great Circle Books)

A Very Broad Background

Commenting that his background spans many fields of endeavor, Schoenfeld remembers once hearing it said that people should change careers every ten years. After ten years you're the best at what you do and should seek new challenges or if your not... all the more reason to seek new challenges. Schoenfeld notes, however, in photography I've found a passion that, everyday, presents new challenges. Schoenfeld is a licensed Commercial Airline Pilot, a licensed psychotherapist, a certified sex therapist and a certified scuba diver.

Trained as a psychologist, in 1973, Schoenfeld was the co-founder and Director of the Los Angeles Guidance and Counseling Service; by 1978 the tax-exempt non-profit LAGCS was one of the largest providers of outpatient mental health services in the state of California.

1979-1995 CEO and Chairman of Air L.A. Inc., the first airline in the United States to fly under an international code sharing partnership. In 1994 the airline expanded after a successful NASDAQ public offering.

1996-2002 - CEO and Chairman of Real Image Digital, a motion picture technology partnership with the Sarnoff Research Center. In 2002 RID was sold to Technicolor.

2003- Current - Chairman of the Board of Directors, Great Circle Books. GCB was organized to publish works of social and humanitarian consequence. The funds raised through the sale of books are designated to support a number of charities and humanitarian projects.

2009 - Current - Director, New Democracy Productions, producer of award documentary films and television series. www.newdemocracyproductions.com

Schoenfeld is a member of the Circumnavigators Club. He is on the Photographic Arts Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Santa Barbara County Museum of Art.

Smashwords Interview

Your Fine Art Gallery series are images that are immensely evocative, powerful, and thought provoking-do you tend to isolate a particular emotion that you wish to project pertaining to each piece, or do you solely focus on the aesthetic qualities?
By early training, I'm a psychologist. Over the years I've come to understand that people are better able to accept messages that may challenge their personal status quo, if those messages are disguised in images that look familiar and unthreatening. The "Rape of the Sabine Women" that I staged and photographed was, artistically, inspired by the seventeenth century painting by Nicolas Poussin. My "Rape of the Sabine Women" is filled with messages aimed at primal assumptions about life and death, faith and whatever else people see in my image.

2. Many of your images, for example “The Rape of the Sabine Women” possess a distinct appreciation of some classic artists like Carvaggio and da Vinci, did you have these in mind when you created the scenes? Anyone who creates images and who loves light can't help but let the visions of Caravaggio infuse his work. I can't say that I intentionally try to bring the masters and their works into the images I create, but I can say that I love art and the more I look at the works of the masters, the more their way of seeing and portraying the world becomes part of my aesthetic.

3. How long does it take to create a scene like “The Circus of Life?” My large scale tableau vivant images, like the circus trilogy; The Circus or Life, The Circus of the Past and The Circus of the Heart, are major productions involving hundreds of performers and models, stage crew, lighting assistants, designers, costume people, makeup artists... I go through several stages in preparation for a shoot. First there is the initial concept and, with my at director Yudda Acco, preparing a rendering of the basic shots. That could take weeks. Then I have to find just the right producer to prepare the budgets, hire all of the participants, scout the locaions... That could take six to eight weeks. So, basically I've got at least several months of preparation into a project before the days of the final shot. I usually shoot for two or tree days.

4. You have had some great personal challenges in your life, can you tell us about those and how you overcome them? Life has been a constant series of challenges, at least they look like challenges as I approach them. Once a challenge has been met, it seems to slip away into the past, almost unnoticed as new challenges appear. I've had financial challenges that have taught me the value of focus and perseverance. I've had artistic challenges that have taught me the value of clarity and trusting myself and I've had health challenges, my life in the balance, that have taught me the value of introspection and appreciating all that I've seen and all that I have.

5. There is a Buddhist quote that says, “From Mud Does The Lotus Flower Grow,” and it suggests that from great hardships one can create beauty and good, is this a principle that you adhere to? I think that all of life experience are of value in the evolution of who we are and how we express ourselves. To me the saddest thing is not a life that has been dirtied with a little mud, but a life in which someone has been frightened into living in a very small space - physically or psychologically. It's the whole "lives of quiet desperation" thing that has frightened me into being thirsty for new experiences, many challenging and threatening. And, it's this drive for experience that has helped me to cope with personal tragedies that I've had to confront. After all, each new challenge is a new experience to be embraced. I've traveled all over the world. I've spent the last decade traveling with an inspiring group of volunteer surgeons, my role, to help tell their story and to inspire others. They work in the poorest and most tragic of situations. That, too, helps me keep a sense of perspective about personal hardeships.

6. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life? Easily the most important lessons for me, I don't think everyone is the same, are to trust myself, to love the people I love and do what makes me feel OK about any particular passing day.

7. If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would that be? It would be the moment when I first met my wife. Several year ago, in French and English, I published a monograph of my favorite nude photographs, "Masques et Mysteres". When I sat down to write the introduction I found that I couldn't begin to address the beauty of the female form without talking about my how I see my wife. My short essay "Alchemy of the Instant" describes one moment, of many in my life, when I looked at my wife and understood what great artists have seen since the first drawings on cave walls. the magic of woman.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Wayne Schoenfeld online


Liberia: Emerging from the Shadows
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 15,160. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Current affairs
" I grew up in war. I've seen blood, I've seen everything. I've seen people killed before my eyes...I had a death in my family, the death of my child, a young baby. I saw the baby suffer." This is the story of a humanitarian medical mission of Rotaplast International. Early mornings running into late nights the team worked tirelessly on burn patients, victims of violence and tragic accidents.

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