Thomas Barbey is a master at mixing pictures. His art known as photo montage is the process of artfully combining two or more photographs to come up with a convincingly real art piece. For all of those who just read the description of photo montage and thought ‘oh yea, I am a master at mixing too.’ – think again ’cause there’s a lot more than meets the mind, but then again that’s part of the illusion that Thomas Barbey perfects.
Being a born into the digital age, I too assumed Barbey’s magic was a slight of hand technique also known as Photoshop. When asked how he created his work Barbey looked at me and said “I am an old fart. I am 52 years old. I sit there and develop these pictures by hand”. I was suddenly that much more impressed with what I saw.
His work has a distinct point of view. At first glance his artwork looks simply pretty. With Unicorns, and the Eiffel Tower, and fairies sprinkling dust over the city of Paris, everything seems suited for a child’s imagination. However, if you study each piece you will see that his art has an– Alice in Wonderland twisted point of view on iconic things– kind of feel. His work certainly has a voice.