An Austin artist is creating increasingly abstract scenes in his photographs without Photoshop or other digital manipulation software.
Tom Suhler recently took on the challenge of creating surreal imagery on set and sharing his images with viewers just days later. It provides a backstage view of the process as it unfolds.
“Traditionally I’ve waited to share my work until a collection of ideas was complete,” Suhler explained. “This year I took a different approach and started posting a few images from each session on my blog (artloversinsights.com) and social media. People ask me when they could see the new work and this allows me to show it without stopping production,” which is now in its third year.
His current production keeps growing and generating different genres. What started as an exploration of life in the clouds has led to collections inspired by Plato’s Symposium and by Vitruvius’ proportions of the human body which inspired da Vinci.
“In April I was hit with this idea of how I could fracture reality through surreal imagery,” Suhler said. “This was inspired by particle physics, string theory, the nature of consciousness, and more.”
Suhler collaborates with members of Austin’s elite dance community as the dancers assume character roles in his single-image narratives.
“Dancers are great artists to work with in creating still narratives,” Suhler said. “In dance, they portray characters while expressing ideas and emotions through movement and form — that’s exactly what we are striving for.”
Why no digital manipulation?
“I love challenging myself in as many different ways as possible simultaneously,” Suhler explained. “Creating meaningful artistic expressions satisfies the urges from my right brain, while my left brain impulses focus on the technical challenges in my artistic decisions.”
Suhler will exhibit his recent work this fall at Exposure Fine Art Gallery & Studio, in East Austin.