As an artist I have created photomontages to reveal a personal vision about the nature of children, animals, and their interactions. These images illustrate the fleeting moods that can't be captured by a traditional camera or seen by the naked eye. This website offers an opportunity to view the range of my work created over the past decade. My hope is that you will explore and enjoy a different type of photography. — Tom Chambers
- As far as the subject matter, my work is influenced by Mexican religious art. Im not a religious person in the Christian sense, but find myself intrigued by the amount of energy people spend on grasping something which is not real or tangible -- not proven.
- Im excited by the Mexican Indian religious art, ex votos, which are three dimensional paintings on tin.
- Mexican people pray to them for miracles and healing power. Ex votos holda sense of mystery and spiritual happening, which for me is the key, and I hope that my imagery has the same effect.
There are so many photographers out there right now how does one make a name for himself?
- Find out what you do well, or which genre you best fit into. Try to get onto some high-profile blog sites. Get involved... make friends who are photographers, donate prints to charity organizations... think nationally not locally.
- When showing your work or portfolio to a gallery or even applying to a juried show the 1st thing they look at is whether the images hold up as a group or series. The importance in this is that you have worked through the idea and pushed it to its limits. On top of that each image has to hold its own individually. In other words, each image, by itself - devoid of the others, needs to grab and hold the viewer.
- There are different directions to take with a series, one being that the idea, or story holds it together. Others may be the look, whether it is horizontal or vertical, landscapes or urban ....the subject may be similar without the story. Something has to hold it all together. One thing that's important when you are using the story route, is not to spell it out for the viewer.
- The more abstract you can be without losing the idea is a difficult but essential direction.
- When the viewer wonders what the hell is going on you are holding his attention.
- A good rule of thumb is: more symbolic, and enigmatic - less literal.
Most interesting responses to your photographs you have heard so far?
I've heard all kinds, here is my favorite...
I find the photographs by Tom Chambers to be disgusting and offensive to man and beast alike. What a mockery of the natural order of things. Would he only direct his talent to something appealing to normality; therein is beauty and a connectivity not seen in these photos you exhibit. "...for in the end we will protect only what we love, love only what we understand and understand only what we are taught."
Can you explain what magic realism is? Magic realism, or magical realism, is an artistic genre in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even "normal" setting. Projects for 2009 you are looking forward to? I have been invited to present a solo exhibition in Bogota, Colombia's Fotografica 09 Festival. I'll be sharing a space in the museum with Luis Gonzalez Palma whose work I admire. I will be one of 2 USA photographers, 15 European and 20 South American photographers. There will be shows all over town and large images on buildings and buses.