Gallery Owner, Entrepreneur, Director, Photographer, Actor, Model
" In my search for success, I have stumbled along the way but, continued to climb. Life changing experiences have been a challenge that I have learned to face head on. I am a firm believer that life is our greatest educator. For each negative situation there are at least two positives that result as a replacement which help us in getting through each situation in life." Vladimir Rios
This philosophy basically summarizes the development of Vladimir Rios as a renaissance man of the 21st Century. After having worked in the social services field for fifteen years, Rios decided to explore his untapped artistic talents. By combining the understanding and sensitivity learned in the course of his social work, he has managed, in a relatively short span of time, to begin climbing the rungs of the artistic ladder.
This journey began in 2008 when he began modeling for photographers and artists to buid up a portfolio. Through this experience, he not only learned about the art of modeling but also about make-up, lighting, set creation, styling, and photography.
By the end of that year, Rios began modeling for photographer, Lester Blum. Their unique collaboration resulted in a series, Despair, which depicts man's climb from the dark depths of life to his metamorphosis back into the light. The concept, make-up and set design was entirely Rios' creation. The result of that collaboration was an award for the lead photograph in the series at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York.
Because of his new vision and understanding of photography, Rios began experimenting as a photographer creating a series entitled "Painted Paper Flowers". The results were stellar with images being chosen in two consecutive years to be exhibited at the Salmagundi Club's Annual Photography Exhibition. This work gave him a newly found appreciation for the camera lens. He has continued to explore his vision of life through the media of photography.
Merging all the skills and knowledge learned, Rios continued to collaborate with Mr. Blum creating dynamic and socially powerful photography projects - Encounters, Warrior of Hope, I Still Remember, and Invisible.
Rios has just completed writing/directing a short film version of I Still Remember which is a universal story of love, loss, and remembrance set during the pandemic era of HIV/AIDS.
Whether he is modeling, acting, creating concepts for himself or others, he brings his unique sense of creativity to every project. A culmination of his artistic vision is the creation of La Vie Galerie LLC where art in all forms can be presented to the viewer.
Gallery Administrator, Photographer,Author
Since he began exploring photography Lester Blum has been gradually climbing the artistic ladder. While this climb is steep and often wrought with challenges, he has excelled in combining his knowledge of color, design, and balance, which he honed during his years in the fashion industry, with his photography skills.
As an accomplished photographer, Lester's work has been presented in numerous group and solo exhibits in New York and throughout the country. He received the Sing Si Schwartz Memorial Award for Photography at the Salmagundi Club in New York, as well as awards from Art Forward in Montecito, CA, and the North Valley Art League in Redding, CA. One of his photographs has been acquired by the Leslie-Lohman Museum in New York.
His work on social issues (HIV/AIDS and individuals suffering from invisibility) in collaboration with Vladimir Rios has been featured in national and regional magazines - POZ and A&U, Out in New Jersey Magazines, a segment on NY1 TV and NBC 6 Miami. These projects have been exhibited in nine solo shows since their creation.
His further literary endeavors include coauthoring a one-act play, Letting Go, a children's book, Beyond the Swirl, and a military memoir, Through the Eyes of a PFC 1942-1945. Currently, he is collaborating on two books about the Holocaust .
Lester collaborated with Rios, working as the Director of Photography and writer. to create the dynamic short film, I Still Remember.
Combining his astute business background with his artistic sensibility, Lester has assumed the role of Administrator for La Vie Galerie LLC. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries.