Join us for Open Studios at Moshi Moshi on Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29 from 11:00am to 6:00pm as Tom Reed presents works from his acclaimed book The Granite Avatars of Patagonia and beyond. Tom Reed will be here to answer questions about his current and future work.
My art is black and white photography, inspired by many, but especially by the photographs of Ansel Adams, the plein air paintings of the Sierras by Edgar Payne, the paintings of the Hudson River School, and the deep understanding of aesthetics by my teacher, Dr. Shozo Sato, a master of the fine arts of Japan. All are natural compositions. The medium is digital, each photograph bears my personal “chop,” a stamp that is the traditional way of indicating authorship in Chinese and Japanese ink painting and calligraphy. My prints are archival-quality giclée. I have chosen to use basic, inexpensive cameras to stress the importance of composition in my work. New York photographer Sylvia Plachy helped me to be confident with this choice. The compositions are based largely on the concepts of Japanese flower arranging, incorporating the dominant/subdominant/subordinate tri-unity, as well as abundant use of empty space (in sky, shadow, water or snow).
The experience of awe is central to my orientation as a photographer. Contemplation of beauty has led me to a yin/yang experience of comforting and shocking beauty (corresponding to exhalation and inhalation). I am primarily interested in shocking beauty–what people call a “moving” or “inspiring” scene. I find black and white prints to be more striking and dramatic, and more readily experienced as sublime.
If we are presented with an awe-inspiring image of nature, we have the opportunity to feel that emotion fully, and to inquire why we feel it. My suspicion is that most people will then conclude that Nature is in some way sacred, or even divine. Maybe then the dominant utilitarian view of Nature will begin to shift towards one of reverence. This shift is essential in this age of environmental decline. I see my work as a contribution to the very survival of humanity.
It is my hope that my images will bring the viewer to aesthetic arrest, stirring awe and instilling a reverence for the spectacular planet that we inhabit and must care for if our species is to evolve to our full potential.
During this year with Artspan I will reveal some new projects: “The Totems of High Mountain Lakes,” “The Nude Human,” and “Pavement.” The first is due to the Dogpatch studio tour being held on Halloween weekend, the latter two reflect my appreciation of the beauty to be found in the city.
San Francisco, October, 2017