By Fanny Revault
Ben Thomas passionately looks at the patterns of our environment. Because it is the city and the urban spaces in which we live that have attracted all his attention since his beginnings in photography. His work captures and magnifies these pieces of the city with a singular technique and a surprisingly pastel palette that immerses us in a dreamlike, unusual and pictorial universe. Meeting with the young Australian photographer at Galerie EST, rue Saint Maur, where he exhibits his latest series "Chroma".
What is your artistic training?
I have an education in the fields of 3d animation and multimedia.
Your photographs look like paintings. How do you proceed to achieve this effect?
There are a number of elements that I bring to my work. Firstly, the weather conditions are critical, big bright sunshine is needed to start the process. From there I concentrate on separating each colour in terms of its chroma and light characteristics to achieve the aesthetic I am aiming for.
Your architectural photography is sublimated by a palette of subtle colors, for what reason?
From the outset, I wanted to use colour as a mechanism to portray the familiar and everyday in a new way. This has been a common theme in my work to utilise various mechanisms to create a level of separation between the viewer and reality.
What do you want to reveal?
I'm very much interested in how people and place come together and cross over. What does place mean to the individual and how does it influence our everyday lives. How place representative of our culture and how does this change from city to city and country to country?
Do you give us to see pacifist environnements to make us happy?
I do tend to lean towards all things minimal. At my core, I do love the simplicity that comes with clean lines and uncluttered space. Symmetrical spaces that have clear form and function tend to be the most aesthetically pleasing for me. I'm not really setting out to make pleasing pictures but if that's how people respond to the work, that's great.
What is your approach towards the human?
Understanding the impact of an individual's built environment is of real interest to me. This hasn't always been the case however, a lot of my earlier works were vacant of people which sometimes can tell a completely different story with some pictures. I do see the focus on the individual as the biggest transition in my work moving forward though. Both technically and logistically, it presents further complexity in the work that enables more layers of context.
For you, what is a masterpiece?
Obviously, it's a super subjective thing but in my mind, it's the combination of a brilliant concept with perfect execution at the right time.
Why is art important in our lives?
Art is the undeniable spirit and enduring positive legacy of all of us. It's one of the most important and meaningful things we can do with our lives. The impact it has on the individual and society in general cannot be overstated, it's that simple.