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 was born in Munich in 1961. He attended schools in Germany, Brazil and the United States, and completed training in photography at the Bavarian State Institute for Photography. For the last twenty-five years Thomas has gained renown as an advertising photographer. Nonetheless, his artistic work has become increasingly significant over the past decade, during which prominent photo galleries, museums as well as celebrated collections worldwide have acclaimed, exhibited and purchased his works. For his photo reportages commissioned by the German magazines GEO, Stern, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Merian and others, as well as for his advertising campaigns, Thomas has been the recipient of international awards.

As an artist Christopher Thomas is best known through his exceptional city portraits: Tranquil photographs of cityscapes taken with a large-format camera and printed on handcrafted paper. The film material used for all of Thomas' city series is Polaroid's black and white film type 55. The photo cycle Munich Elegies was the first of the city portrait series. It was initially exhibited at the Photo Museum Munich in 2005 and published by Schirmer/Mosel. Munich Elegies was followed by New York Sleeps, shot between 2001 and 2009. New York Sleeps was published by Prestel, first edition 2009 (sixth edition 2012) and was winner of the German Photography Book Prize.  


In 2010 Thomas succeeded in realizing a deeply moving project: during rehearsals by amateur actors for the Oberammergau Passion Play Thomas created a cycle of unique portraits which are reminiscent of paintings by the old masters and which capture the energy of the play in an unparalleled manner. From October 2011 through April 2012 a comprehensive selection of the Passion Cycle was exhibited in the ecclesial hall of the Bavarian National Museum in Munich. The book version, Christopher Thomas . Passion, Photographs of the Oberammergau Passion Play 2010, was published by Prestel.

Thomas' Polaroid series, Venice in Solitude - his latest city portrait series - has recently been presented at galleries and art fairs worldwide, including Hamiltons in early 2012; Prestel Publishing published a book of the same title in 2012.


Christopher Thomas lives in Munich.


© Ira Stehmann