Christopher Thomas

Christopher Thomas began his career as an advertiser for German magazines including GEO, Stern, Merian and others. In recent years he has concentrated his efforts on creating portraits of cities including Paris, Venice, the Engadin and New York. Thomas uses Polaroid film and long exposure techniques for this ongoing series.

Christopher Thomas' captivating and atmospheric images show the Venetian landscape through his unique style of city portraiture, originally established with New York Sleeps (2009) and Münchner Elegien (Munich Elegies, 2001-2005). He transports us to a silent city, devoid of human presence, which could remind us of photographs from the 19th century, when the photographic image was not fast enough to capture the quickening pace of human activity. The series includes classical views of the Canal Grande, the Doge's Palace, St. Mark's Square, Rialto Bridge and others.

 

At the crack of dawn, just before dusk falls, or at night by the light of the moon, Thomas would set off through the sestiere - the various districts of Venice - with his heavy equipment comprising a large-format camera, a selection of lenses, a tripod, a dark velvet cloth and many boxes of Polaroid Type 55 film. Armed with a compass, azimuth and sun chart, pen and notebook he would select the view he wanted to photograph. The photographic material he uses - most of which is no longer produced today - ensures that the images are rich in detail. Thomas' own eye, sensitivity and technical skill enabled pictures to emerge that return the city to its historical roots, with a sense of mystery.

 

"In our fast-moving times in which one is confronted with a barrage of incessant communication and a flood of images, Christopher's contemplative pictures are an invitation to pause a while and dream. The viewer has a feeling of timelessness evoked by the long exposure times that do not capture any momentary movement.", Ira Stehmann, Editor.

 

"It is an attempt to recover the serenity of Venice found in pictures from the 19th century and to release the city from mass tourism.", Christopher Thomas.

 

In early 2012, alongside Hamiltons exhibiting these works for the first time, Prestel Publishers released Christopher Thomas: Venice in Solitude, with 75 images and text by the renowned poet Albert Ostermaier.