Meet THE three mentors IN THIS 1 MINUTE VIDEO:

The structure of this retreat is brilliant. Breaking us into smaller working groups works so well. I felt quite bonded to the other members of the small group and eager to see each of them clarify and strengthen their work. The mentor I worked with was so encouraging. She gave everyone feedback and clarifying questions. Working later with the other two mentors was another layer of attention and insight. Every mentor was so generous with their time. I am so grateful.
— Parrish #TPMR2016

  Photo by Steve Pyke

Photo by Steve Pyke


Independent Curator, Writer, and Visuals Editor 1996-2011, The New Yorker

Faculty, School of Visual Arts, New York

The Photography Master Retreat mentor, 2015-present



Elisabeth Biondi was the Visuals Editor of The New Yorker for 15 years until she left in 2011 to work as an independent curator, writer and teacher. She curated Subjective/Objective and Under the Bridge for the New York PhotoFestival 2011, and New Yorker Fiction/Real Photography at Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea. In the fall of 2011 her exhibition Beyond Words: Photography in the New Yorker was the season’s opening show at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York. An expanded version traveled to the Ullens Center in Beijing in 2012. Her exhibition Widely Different: New York City Panoramas was on view at the Seaport Museum, New York in 2012.

She was a photography consultant for Stern magazine, and teaches at the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts, and is a Senior Thesis Adviser. Her column Portfolio is published in Photograph magazine. Most recently she was a juror for the World Press Photography Awards and the Sony World Photography Awards, in addition to numerous national and international photography juries. She advises many up-and-coming photographers and edits their work.

Elisabeth Biondi joined The New Yorker in 1996, shortly after photography was introduced to the magazine. As Visuals Editor she helped shape the look of the publication by establishing a group of staff photographers, commissioning both masters and emerging talent. She built the magazine’s reputation for its use of photography, for which it received numerous awards, including two National Magazine Awards.

Born and educated in Germany, Elisabeth started working with photographers when Geo magazine, often described as a more contemporary and controversial version of National Geographic, launched in the US. The magazine won many awards for photography and design. Subsequently she moved to Vanity Fair, and as Director of Photography, focused on lively, witty portraiture – which became an important element of the magazine’s success.

After seven years at Vanity Fair, Elisabeth returned to Germany to work for Stern, one of Germany’s largest newsweeklies. As Head of the Photography Department, she explored the fast-paced world of news and reportage photography, and worked with celebrated photographers all around the world. She returned to New York in 1996 to become Visuals Editor of The New Yorker.


For more information:

The New Yorker

Interview by Matthew Leifheit for ArtFCity

During each Master Retreat, students courageously expose their work to the challenge of change in an atmosphere where creativity is allowed to flourish. They form intense relationships with each other and the mentors during a week of hard work and Provençal pleasures. To see their work shift, often in unexpected ways, is both my great pleasure and privilege.
— Elisabeth Biondi

  Photo by Jerry Spagnoli

Photo by Jerry Spagnoli


Critic, Curator, and Faculty, School of Visual Arts, New York

The Photography Master Retreat mentor, 2015-present



Lyle Rexer is an internationally recognized curator and critic. Educated at Columbia, and at Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, he is the author of several books on art and photography, including The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography (2009) and Photography’s Antiquarian Avant Garde: The New Wave in Old Processes (2002).

In addition, Lyle has published hundreds of catalogue essays and articles on art, architecture, and photography, contributing to publications such as The New York TimesArt in AmericaApertureArt on PaperParkettBOMBPhotograph magazine and DAMn. Lyle regularly lectures at the Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Spain. As a curator, he has organized exhibitions in the United States and internationally, most recently The Edge of Vision, a selection of contemporary abstract photography.

He teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate photography programs at the School of Visual Arts and is a columnist for Photograph magazine.


For more information:

The New Yorker

School of Visual Arts

Interview by Aperture: Lyle Rexer: The Edge of Vision

This is the only retreat where people actually have to reflect. Where the main activity is to look at the work they are making and have made, and think about what it actually means. What’s good about it, what’s most important, what’s THEM about it?
— Lyle Rexer
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  Photo by Leslie Robert

Photo by Leslie Robert


Photographer, Artist, and Faculty, International Center of Photography, New York

The Photography Master Retreat, founder and mentor, 2015-present



Martine Fougeron is a fine art photographer living and working in New York whose work has been exhibited internationally and is held in major public and private collections. Her incisive images of life and culture in that city have made her a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday magazine, The Wall Street Journal magazine, New York magazine, FT and Les Echos Week-end.

Fougeron was born in Paris and studied at LFNY, l’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, Wellesley College and the International Center of Photography. She has been living in New York since 1996 and working as a photographer since 2006 when she graduated from ICP’s General Studies program – having turned to photography after a successful career as a Creative Director in the fragrance industry where she was the nose of the noses’ of 20 world-class perfumers.

Fougeron’s award-winning fine art project Teen Tribe offers an intimate portrait of the lives of her two adolescent sons and their group of friends. Fougeron has mounted solo shows in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia and her work has been exhibited internationally in China, France, Italy, South Korea, and Switzerland. This work was exhibited at The Gallery at Hermès in NY in 2013 and is held in major collections including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The publication by Steidl of Teen Tribe is forthcoming.

Fougeron’s artistic document, The South Bronx Trades, is a revelation of the immense diversity of skills present in the South Bronx. The work was exhibited in a solo show at The Bronx Museum of The Arts in 2016.

Fougeron is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography and has been a guest artist and teacher at Pratt Institute, New York University, CCNY and SVA. She was a Yaddo artist in residence in 2016.

Fougeron is also the founder of The Photography Master Retreat.


For more information:


Interview by Peggy Roalf in Design Arts Daily (AI-AP): Martine Fougeron: Teen Tribe at Hermès.

I perceived the palpable exhilaration of each photographer at having reached a better consciousness of his or her work as well as a more fruitful understanding of their fellow artists’ singular visions. This communal experience is rare outside of art schools and is precious for growing one’s work. A real bonding ensued. And it confirmed to me that Esparon is indeed a perfect haven for such a photographic retreat.
— Martine Fougeron
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When I arrived, all I knew was that my work was not where I wanted it to be. It was the frightening moment of shifting that finally freed an amazing amount of creative energy within me.
— Anna Rosa, #TPMR2016
Spending a week with a group of creative professionals, bonding with everyone through critique and exchange of ideas, has taken my work in different, more fruitful direction.
— Daniel #TPMR2015
This retreat will be instrumental in the progress of my new series.. I was challenged to consider new ideas and possibilities. I had to deconstruct and attempt a new path with work I brought with me... A week here is a present to myself.
— Linda #TPMR2016
The biggest drawback to the digital world is that you no longer bump into peers and colleagues at the lab or supply store. So, for me, the exchange of ideas with the mentors and participants was special.
— Jeff #TPMR2015
I valued ALL the mentors’ commitment to help us achieve our goals and beyond.
— Loli #TPMR2017
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The mentorship in small groups or one-on-one, and the ability to have time with three mentors. I valued that.
— Hilary #TPMR2017
All of them are very accomplished people in the photo industry. And they specialize in different areas, which was great.
— Brenda #TPMR2015
The total experience went above and beyond my expectations.
— Peggy #TPMR2017

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