I found Thomas Jackson’s work through my Critical Mass reviews this year. Clever, colorful and interesting, I was finding myself going back to these images over and over, finding something new in each view. I quickly became a fan. The construction of each piece is thoughtful, leading us down a path of discovery, jarring our ideas of what is possible. His swarms remind us on the anonymous and unseen happening all around us. What I also love about this work is the idea of turning expected landscapes on its head, finding new vocabularies as we discuss the idea of man and nature, of understanding and experiencing newness in what can be a predictable visual language.
The hovering sculptures featured in this ongoing series of photographs are inspired by self-organizing, “emergent” systems in nature such as termite mounds, swarming locusts, schooling fish and flocking birds. The images attempt to tap the mixture of fear and fascination that those phenomena tend to evoke, while creating an uneasy interplay between the natural and the manufactured and the real and the imaginary. At the same time, each image is an experiment in juxtaposition. By constructing the sculptures from unexpected materials and placing where they seem least to belong, I aim to tweak the margins of our visual vocabulary, and to invite fresh interpretations of everyday things.
Thomas Jackson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. After earning a B.A. in History from the College of Wooster, he spent much of his career in New York as an editor and book reviewer for magazines. It was his particular interest in photography books that led him to pick up a camera, first shooting Garry Winogrand-inspired street scenes, then landscapes, and finally the staged work he does today. His work has been shown at The Center for Book Arts in New York, the Governors Island Art Fair, the Venice Arts Gallery in Venice, CA and the Gallery at Eponymy in Brooklyn. Jackson was named one of the Critical Mass Top 50 in 2012. He lives in Brooklyn.
For more of Thomas’s great work, please log onto his website.