Contemporary photographer Bjoern Thomas is a real globetrotter and lives partly in Germany. His plan to realize as first artist in the world an art project in space, the biblical last supper with real gangster’s or placing the heaviest sumo from Japan on an ice plate, are good examples for his unique art.
He creates stimulating environments of people from all walks of life, presenting situations both real and fantastical in order to explore the complexities of human experience through an artistic and honest lens. Bjoern Thomas stylizes people in staged environments in order to theatrically combine fact with fiction, real people within symbolic and illuminated environments. Through his combination of reality with imagination, his subjects ranging from distant cultures in faraway lands to incarcerated gangsters and crime families become more than documentations of people in unfamiliar lived environments but become cinematic, adding a theoretical layer to his aesthetic portraits that triggers investigations into the alluded symbolic imagery.
Bjoern Thomas uses photography to discover foreign elements prevalent in our society, exploring uncanny sub-cultures one does not personally understand. The photographer unearths the differences between individuals, the alien aspects one may never have personally encountered, seen most notably in his powerful “Gangster” series. He photographs released prisoners from Los Angeles correctional facilities not in their prison cells, but in expressive situations that explore the complexities of criminal actions; rather than voicing their injustice and deviant behaviors, Bjoern Thomas symbolizes their de-criminalization and entryway back into the guidelines of social justice. Bjoern Thomas’s photographs of minority individuals and distant cultures eloquently shows that the unknown is a dialectical phenomenon that eventually becomes familiar and not far removed from our own understanding of human existence.
The artist Bjoern Thomas has made a successful name in the international art arena, creating art through many mediums, taking advantage of his experience as an engineer, product designer, creative director or filmmaker.
Written by Ruthie Tucker, Executive gallery curator, former in leading positions at Guggenheim Museum or Phillips International Auction House in New York