Entropic Kingdom

PhotographerTom Chambers
PrizeSilver in Fine Art / Digitally Enhanced
Entry Description

Digital Photomontage

About Photographer

Tom Chambers was raised on a farm in the Amish country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Tom entered art school and completed a B.F.A. in 1985 from Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida with an emphasis in graphic design and strong interest in photography. For many years Tom has excelled as a graphic designer, including the design of flat printed material, packaging, and magazines. Since 1998 Tom has devoted himself to photomontage for sharing the intriguing unspoken stories reflecting his view of the world. Currently, Tom is represented by four galleries in the United States, including Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe, Modernbook Gallery in Palo Alto, Wall Space Gallery in Santa Barbara, and Chase Young Gallery in Boston. Tom is also represented by Galeria Hartmann in Barcelona, Spain. Tom has received recognition for his photomontages through fellowships from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. A book of Tom's work will be published by Modernbook Editions in early 2012. Tom has received recognition for his photomontages through a variety of awards. Most recently, Tom won these first place awards: Digitally Enhanced, Robert Cornelius Portrait Award 2010; PhotoSpiva 2010; Fine Art Photography, Fotoweek DC 2009; and Digitally Enhanced Photography, World Photography Gala Awards 2009. In 2009, Tom was invited to participate in the Fotografica Bogota, during which Tom had a solo show at the Museo de Bogota. The international aspect of the Fotografica Bogota 2009 led to other cross-cultural photography opportunities, including photographing the Marwari horses from Rajasthan and life in Mexico. The awarded PX3 2011 images come from the Dreaming in Reverse series and the following art statement. Twenty-five years ago I traveled freely throughout the Mexican countryside where I relished a warm, welcoming, and slow-paced style of living. I was heartened by the physical beauty of the landscape and the simple, pure lifestyles shared by both the Hispanic and indigenous people of Mexico. A sense of spirituality and magic were imbedded in their religious practices, crafts, art, dance, and literature. Recently, I returned to Mexico where I experienced a country teetering on the brink of change created by increasing political and economic challenges, and exacerbated by the trappings of global consumerism. The Mexican people appeared handcuffed by demands largely outside of their control and threatened by the potential loss of their cultural richness. Sensing that little time remains to photograph the beauty of Mexico, I have created the series "Dreaming In Reverse" to express both my concern for cultural loss, as well as my appreciation for the inherent loveliness of Mexican life. Employing magic realism, an art genre used in the early twentieth century in Mexico, I have attempted to create images of Mexico which seem true and believable, but also perhaps improbable. These photomontages illustrate my dreams for the Mexican people that they are able to retain the authenticity of their culture.