In a new exhibit, ‘Reverie,’ on view at the photo-eye Gallery in Santa Fe, N.M., artist Tom Chambers fuses photography with graphic arts in a series of dreamlike photomontages.
“I like to say that instead of taking a photo, I am making a photo,” Mr. Chambers told Anne Kelly, the gallery’s Associate Director. His work, styled in the tradition of magic realism, brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘making photos.’
His process begins with creating a concept sketch. Over time, he photographs each element of the scene.
Once he has created the components, he combines them digitally to make photomontages, which are comprised of two or more photographs to create one final image.
The images are enhanced using Photoshop to emulate a dreamlike tone, in the tradition of magic realism. According to the gallery, Mr. Chambers “modernizes Renaissance painting techniques with his camera…while drawing from pivotal works in the lineage of art history.”
The images, inspired by ‘dreams and reverie,’ aim to present narratives that engage the viewer and provoke curiosity. “My rule of thumb is to create images that are possible, but improbable,” Mr. Chambers said.
‘Pennants Over Pienza,’ 2012.Tom Chambers
“Because I am adjusting one or two elements, the resultant photomontage is intended to appear almost real,”
Mr. Chambers told Ms. Kelly. “In addition, creating a photomontage involves a tremendous amount of post-production. I have to be very thoughtful about honoring my idea for the final image.
I want to avoid over-manipulation of the pieces that are included in the final image and ensure that the final gestalt feels authentic, yet a bit disturbing, and not too forced.”