City Tranquility: Meet Fine Art Photographer Eric Renard

Written by Artie The Panda

From city streets to Death Valley dunes, the fine art photography of Eric Renard covers a lot of ground. Lately, he has focused on capturing the City of Angels, where he currently lives, with an eye on poking fun at the ’80s tune “Walking in L.A.”

Stroll, Saunter, Strut

If you know the song by Missing Persons, you’ll remember this verse: "Nobody walks in L.A." Eric’s work by the same name shows us that, despite the car culture, Angelenos do move about the city on foot.

“This black-and-white project focuses on high-contrast urban cityscapes that reflect an eerie sense of peace and tranquility,” Eric explains. For example, in “Circles & Stripes,” showcased above, sweeping architectural details tower above a lone man, conveying the motion of a journey on pause. In “Urbanity,” below, long shadows line the interior of a building in downtown L.A. while a man’s silhouette brings scale and life to the image.

Enter Frame Destination 

For his “Nobody Walks in L.A.” exhibits at the Sasse Museum of Art in Pomona, California, and TAG Gallery in Los Angeles, Eric framed his work in our Black Wood Photo Frame 852 with matte finish. This contemporary gallery-style frame complements a range of art and photos without overpowering the display. Eric also appreciates the quality of our frame construction, the vast selection, and our customer service. 

"Urbanity" by Eric Renard
“Urbanity” by Eric Renard.

See More of Eric’s Work

Discover an array of black-and-white, color, and “splash” photography at Eric’s Instagram feed captures the character of urban environments and natural spaces, primarily in black-and-white. To find out which high school teacher’s advice he follows to combat creative blocks — spoiler alert: it’s not an art teacher — read my Q&A with Eric below. 

Eric Renard poses with his artwork

Now for Arties Eight Q&A with Eric Renard…

1. What is your background; how did you get started?

My photographic journey began almost 50 years ago, documenting what I saw: my friends, family, and neighborhood. However, I didn’t embrace photography as a creative art form until many years later. I still find myself exploring with camera in hand, documenting my surroundings — the people, the light, and the shadows.

2. How important is it for a photographer to "connect" with their subject?

I love what I do, but I think it’s more important for the viewer to connect with the subject than me.

3. What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?

Very simple. As French artist and photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” In other words, keep shooting.

4. In what ways does your work reflect your personality?

We are polar opposites. My work is meticulous; I am not. My work is black and white; I am grey. My work is solitary with few people; I am usually in a crowd. 

5. Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?

Yes. I take the advice of my high school gym class coach: "Walk it off." 🙂

6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)

Walking shoes, my Mac, and a big monitor.

7. Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?

In 1982, the song “Walking in L.A.,” by the new wave band Missing Persons, poked fun at Los Angeles for its dependence on cars — “Nobody walks in L.A.” Forty years later, the world may still think we don't walk much, but we do. We also saunter, stroll, and strut our stuff on bikes and scooters. This black-and-white project focuses on high-contrast urban cityscapes that reflect an eerie sense of peace and tranquility. Wrapped in our daily cocoon of routine, we obliviously move past cityscapes painted by light and shadows. In this series of images, we explore L.A.’s unique architecture — some of it is loved, some is hated, and some is completely unnoticed.

8. What "fad" gadget do you most regret purchasing?

Hmmm. Probably a mini tripod, which isn’t any more stable than hand held.

All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.

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Last Updated April 9, 2024