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Gallery Favorites – Tom Chambers: Hearts and Bones

photo-eye Gallery Gallery Favorites
Tom Chambers: Hearts and Bones
This week Gallery Staff has selected their favorite images from Chamber's current exhibition Hearts and Bones, a mid-career retrospective containing 26 images spanning twenty-five years of work and ten separate projects. The exhibition remains on view through February 16, 2019.

Tom Chambers: Hearts and Bones installed at photo-eye Gallery
Tom Chambers is a master storyteller. His intricate photomontages construct convincing single-setting narratives delicately balanced between beauty, danger and wonder. His images captivate us as they leave room for our own personal experience and imagination to answer the questions each scene poses. Our reaction becomes part of the creative process and a reason to revisit the image time after time. This week our Gallery Staff has selected their favorite images from Chambers' current exhibition Hearts and Bones, a mid-career retrospective containing 26 images spanning twenty-five years of work and ten separate projects. The exhibition remains on view through February 16, 2019.

Anne Kelly selects Moat Float

Tom Chambers, Moat Float, 2018, Archival Pigment Print, 28x29" Image, Edition of 10, $2300
Anne Kelly, Gallery Director
505.988.5152 x114
I distinctly recall the first time I encountered one of Tom Chambers' prints. Twelve years ago I saw Prom Gown #1. At the time I couldn’t articulate what it was about the image that moved me--I knew immediately I was looking at an artist with vision and promise. Since then Chambers has continued to produce images that speak to me. The first time I saw Moat Float I was transported back to my childhood days, swimming in the lake at my grandparents', floating along with my little butterfly sailboat. Tom depicts a fragile, young girl, still in her dress, lying in the cold waters of a dreary lake, gulls circling a lonely castle, a small sailboat carried on the ripples of time. The scene is both chilling and calming. The muted colors elicit a feeling of sadness, yet the boat sails proudly forth while smoke pours from the chimney, a fire waiting inside. Life carries on despite the grayness we often feel. It reminds me of the resilience we all hold within us, especially when we remember to embrace our child-like wonder. I'm often asked how I choose artists to represent and how I build my own personal collection. The answer is the same: I follow my intuition, gathering the things that speak to me most.

Lucas Maclaine Shaffer selects Now Now

Tom Chambers, Now Now, 2018, Archival Pigment Print, 22x13" Image, Edition of 20, $950
Lucas Maclaine Shaffer
Special Projects & Client Relations
photo-eye Gallery
505.988.5152 x114
Now Now, from Tom Chambers upcoming Portrait Series, exemplifies the artist's ability to construct a resounding fiction in a simple frame. Eschewing his standard square format for an arched vertical, Chambers borrows a classic form akin to that of Medieval iconography, and in doing so, imbues Now Now with both mythological status and symbolism. Something important, something powerful, is evident in the image, but the narrative details are yours to decipher.

The idyllic pastoral setting is delightful, yet clashes with the young woman's rigid posture, unexplained injury, and piercing gaze aimed directly at the viewer--one that seems to say, "I see you." The tension of the narrative is delivered in the delicate gesture of the young woman's left hand. Hovering her hand just above her wolf-protector's head, she appears to be keeping it momentarily at bay, her eyes focused intently on us, the viewer. Chambers deftly creates the feeling of being seen by the subject and gives us the illusion of agency in the confrontation, as if our actions will somehow determine the next scene in this narrative. The moment is rife with anticipation. Now Now is magnetic. It draws me in with its pristine detail and muted pastels and holds me in place with its mysteries. Who is this girl? Why is she hurt? Why does she need protection? Who am I to her? Is she far from home? Where are her shoes?

I find the image captivating and can imagine it being especially powerful if presented in life-size. I adore Chambers' ability to build complex worlds worth visiting on a daily basis. I appreciate the room he leaves for our own imagination, interpretation, and reflection in the process.

Juliane Worthington selects Late for Dinner

Tom Chambers, Late For Dinner, 2013, Archival Pigment Print, 20x20" Image, Edition of 20, $1600
Juliane Worthington
Gallery Associate
505.988.5152 x116
I love the way Late For Dinner feels like a scene from a fairy tale dream. The edges are soft and blurred, the pink hue of the sunset fading behind the small, old village on the hill. At first glance the sweet girl, in her best gown grabs my entire focus. But the more I study this image, which I asked be hung next to my desk in the gallery, I’m aware of the ravens circling the structures that appear to be vacant and abandoned. Why is such a beautiful child, barefoot and alone on a road to a forgotten place? How late is she really? Is it an hour or a hundred years? I can’t see her face to know with what intent she’s running up this damp and slippery path. What Chambers executes so well in in his work is the ability to create a vision of an idea that’s nearly possible, slightly dangerous, and completely mystifying. His montages often ride the line between dreams and nightmares. Perhaps it’s up to us to decide—will the girl break the spell on the ghostly village and restore it with the beauty and life of her own innocent spirit, or is she too late?


All prices listed were current at the time this post was published. 
Prices will increase as the print editions sell.

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at 
505-988-5152 x202 or

On view through February 16th, 2019

» View the Work

» Read Our Interview 
   with Tom Chambers

» Purchase the Monograph 

photo-eye Gallery
541 S. Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe, Nm 87501
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