Email

photos@tompsomotragos.com

Phone

(02) 9518 4886

0422 447 091

Location

83 Darling St, Glebe, NSW 2037

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About Tom

Born in Greece and having grown up in Melbourne, Tom was one of the first students to use photography in his Year 12 art portfolio. With his experimental and innovative approach he topped the state in Art that year. He went on to gain a Higher Diploma in Creative Arts at Melbourne State College, now part of University of Melbourne.

During the 1970’s Tom was a highly regarded experimental filmmaker, with works shown at Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto and Mannheim film festivals. In 1981 Tom had an exhibition of photographs at Christine Abrahams Gallery in Melbourne.  His work has been shown at the Art Gallery of NSW and is in the photographic collection of the National Gallery of Victoria and Art Bank. 

Since then Tom has worked in the film industry as a cinematographer and stills photographer, taught photography and video at Koori College, Seaforth TAFE and Penrith TAFE, and for the last twenty years has had his own photographic studio, interspersing his commercial, wedding and portrait work with creative projects.

Throughout his career Tom has had a reputation for innovation, experimentation, and working outside and beyond the usual parameters of the medium.

 


"The photos of Tom Psomotragos are immediately recognisable as his, perhaps because he does not intrude into their space. They were sponsored so he could afford to print them life size and display them in the streets and shopfronts of Glebe. Imagine one of the subjects looking at their own photograph. It would be a moment of profound self knowledge! Strangely, when we look at them we also get the same sense. Even at our lowest point in life Tom shows us that we are resilient and are survivors. This photographer, without distorting the images is able to show us  a person's essence  because he sees it. This is a profoundly modern experience, not confined to an ideology. He allows us to have a deep and respectful experience of a human being.

Is photography Art? Lewis Morley died late in 2013. His last years were celebrated in national gallery exhibitions in London, New York, Sydney and Canberra, and he had been named as one of the 50 greatest photographers since the cameras invention. And yet Lewis didn't think his photography was as important as his painting. This goes beyond the divine dissatisfaction of real artists who rarely think their work is art. It touches on the validity of mechanically replicating images of the world. When I spoke to Lewis about Tom he observed, "I don't know how he does it. They are all superb vertical compositions and yet he hasn't buggered around. There must be something in Tom that makes him capture the exact moment when the people are themselves."

Well, I wish I could show the inner essence of subjects and their outer form in paint as well as Tom does in photography. Make no mistake, I believe his photos are among the rare example of real art. He gives us an insight that affects our perception and we take this new faculty into the future. We look at each other with new eyes. The young aboriginal homeless woman who had once been avoided is now recognised and greeted by strangers in Glebe who now her through her photograph.

Perhaps this is a new genre of Social Art. Perhaps we live in hope that someone else will show us our personal reality.

             - from an article 'The image, the photograph, and the reality'  soon to be published in an art journal by David Wansbrough

Tom profile for website.jpg
Tom’s images reveal inner, mythical, worldly and intensely human concerns. His photography is a complex, often spontaneous dialogue with his subjects. From a base of outstanding and innovative technique, Tom uses timing, instinct, reflection and a deep study of human nature to create his images. The resulting works never fail to startle, move and suggest mystery to the viewer.
— Anna Maria Dell’oso