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.

<span class="title">Hollywood Sign I, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2017</span>
<span class="title">McDonalds I, Downey, Los Angeles<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2017</span>
<span class="title">Venice Sign, Venice<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2017</span>
<span class="title">Walt Disney Concert Hall I, Los Angeles<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2017</span>
<span class="title">Chinatown, Los Angeles<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2016</span>
<span class="title">Bay Street, Santa Monica, Los Angeles<span class="title_comma">, </span></span><span class="year">2015</span>
Christopher Thomas
Hollywood Sign I, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, 2017
Archival pigment print
Large, edition of 7: 40 5/8 x 53 1/8 in. (103 x 135 cm.)
Small, edition of 25: 22 x 29 7/8 in. (56 x 76 cm.)
© Christopher Thomas

Christopher brings to LA his unique style of city portraiture with these captivating, atmospheric images, 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. 


Armed with a compass, azimuth and sun chart, pen and notebook, Thomas would roam the city at the crack of dawn to find the view he wanted to capture. 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. 


Thomas has been travelling to LA for more than three decades, but decided to live in a camper van from January to March 2017 to carefully capture the city. These images are not set to be a comprehensive architectural depiction of the metropolis, but more of a personal account of LA which captured some of the architectural highlights and famous ‘Googie’ icons (vernacular commercial architecture) of the city. 


“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