André Breton would bowl over in disbelief, René Magritte would cower with envy and photography becomes reinvented with the absurd and imaginative compositions by artist Thomas Barbèy. For the past 20 years Thomas Barbèy has been collecting and combining photographs that depict a variety of subject matter: cityscapes, trees, beaches, gondolas, and cathedrals. In other words, relatively mundane images that, when viewed independently, may fail to illicit a response. When taken to the dark room, Barbèy coalesces these negatives through a series of unique and impressively orchestrated steps. For many artists, photoshop and graphic editing has become a shortcut in contemporary photography. Thomas Barbèy has chosen the road less traveled. His process is a personal and intricate labyrinth resulting in compositions best described as impressively surreal. Each negative is selected after years, and sometimes decades of storage, and then matched with other negatives to meet an unimaginable transmogrification. “The process of my montage starts with concept. It is then followed by the exposure and selection of negatives. The design is then created by carefully choosing printing procedures as combination printing: sandwiching negatives together, thereby printing them simultaneously; pre-planned double exposure in the camera; the re-photographing of collaged photographs; and/or a combination of the above.”
Thomas’s photo montage transpires the illusionistic quality and juxtaposing imagery that prevails in the artist’s work: a ski slope that drapes like a bed sheet or a highway in San Francisco that intersects through a Banyan tree; each title isa play on words, as with “Wet Dreams”, showing a seascape beaching out onto a bedded mattress where sun kissed figures stroll, play, and lounge on the sand. The use of film and the manual exposure of each photograph in a darkroom is an essential element to the process and final product of Barbèy’s work where the images must pass the “So what?” test. That is, if the final montage of two or more images does not affect the artist in a particular way he throws it out and starts over. It is not until after Barbèy experiments with different images, sometimes by accident and other times willfully, does the combination fit by transcending one into another world. Thomas Barbèy was born in Greenwich, Connecticut and spent his childhood in Geneva, Switzerland. He began drawing seriously at an early age, using black “encre de Chine” and gouaches for color. Some early influences for his surrealistic images have been Philippe Druillet, Roger Dean, René Magritte, M.C. Escher and H.R. Giger. He has been interviewed and featured on the cover of “Inked” Magazine and featured in the New Britain Herald. Barbèy lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and travels 2-3 times for inspiration as he continues to capture new fantasies with his lens.
- Art Hamptons, Emmanuel Fremin Gallery , NY
- AAF New York, Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NY
- Art Palm Beach, Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, FL
- “Dreams from the Dark Room” Solo Show, Emmanuel Fremin Gallery
- Red Dot Art Fair with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, Fl
- Art Greenwich Art Fair with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NY
- Art Hamptons Art Fair with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NY
- Scope Art Fair with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NY
- Art Palm Beach Art Fair with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, FL
- Art Hamptons Fair with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery
- AAF with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NYC
- “Unleashed” Solo Exhibit with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NYC
- Red Dot Art Fair,with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NYC
- “Blinding” Group Show with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, NYC
- New Britain Museum, Group show, CT
- Press: Art Business News (Magazine cover), Trendland, Inked Magazine (Cover), NY metro art scene, Art & Culture
- (Magazine cover), Scallywagandvagabond, Guns – Love, Fear & Loathing.
Author David Baldacci, Actor James Spader, Trump Family, Christopher Hyland, President, Christopher Hyland, Inc, Rob Goldstein, President, Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, Actress Rebecca DeMornay, Barbara Lazaroff, Designer, Puck/Lazaroff Restaurants, Larry Flax, Founder, California Pizza Kitchen, Rock Band, 3 Doors Down, Carlos Santana, Wayne Newton, Mick Fleetwood, Igor Sasin.
Lucky Strike Bowling Lounges, Seattle, NYC, Los Angeles, Houston, Hob Nob Restaurant, San Diego, CA, LWC West, LLC, Aspen, CO, Simply Sun Tanning Salons, Dr. Dennis Saffro, Beverly Hills, CA – Reception