French artist Arno Elias is creative, to say the least. The multi-talented painter, photographer and music composer is also an activist.
While on a photography trip to Africa in hopes of capturing images of indigenous people, he began taking pictures of wildlife.
He got immersed in taking photos of the incredible animals there, and, in the process learned about the rapid extinction of many species because of poaching and other threats to species. Lions, elephants, tigers, black rhino and gorillas, all on the verge of extinction.
"No one knows how bad it is," Elias says. "They get killed for a lot of money and it is very important to spread this message to the younger generation."
He founded I'm Not a Trophy, an organization that is dedicated to create greater awareness for the rapid extinction of iconic endangered species, featuring supermodel and actress Cara Delevingne as the first-ever brand ambassador, the global launch in June 2016 achieved world-wide recognition and was featured in Vogue, and other high fashion magazines.
The photographs of Delevigne had images of the animals in danger of extinction on her bare body.
"I wanted to have something that took people by surprise and Cara, well, she is such a strong personality."
Elias will make a special in-person appearance for a meet and greet at Markowicz Fine Art in the Miami Design District on Thursday, April 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. in a free open house.
His work is part of a spring art showcase at Markowicz that also features the work of sculptors Metis Atash and Alexandra Gestin. Other participating artists on display include Idan Zareski, Carole Feuerman, Joel Moens De Hasse, Stephan Gautier and Gaspard Mitz.
Elias, born in Paris, France, is prolific in his creative output. As a music composer, he is known for his productions and compositions of world hit songs "Amor Amor" and "El Corazon" and his involvement in the early, popular CDs of the globally renowned compilations Buddha Bar music.
Working alongside Jean Paul Gaultier and Mario Testino in the fashion industry and studying art history in Paris further influenced and informed his creative direction. In 2011, Elias started "The Lost Series." The collection is a crystallization of Elias' mixed-media techniques and the powerful images he captured during his solo world photographic tour.
Director Bernard Markowicz will host the intimate evening of cocktails and art showcasing the newest works by Elias from his notable, The Lost Series and I'm Not a Trophy, with the sounds of his celebrated Buddha Bar music playing in the background.
There will be other surprises, too, including Atash, who will personally unveil her Swarovski crystal covered PunkBuddha series.
Since 2010, Markowicz Fine Art Gallery has showcased an established collection of internationally renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Tom Wesselmann, in addition to emerging artists with exceptional creative talent such as Idan Zareski, Carole Feuerman, Metis Atash and street artist, Kaï. The gallery is located in the heart of the Miami Design District.
Following this event, the exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. The gallery is located at 110 NE 40th St, Miami, FL 33137.
For more information, visit www.markowiczfineart.com.