Tom Hunter · Thought summary about him and his work
Article/Interview with Hunter
I liked what Hunter had to say very much. In a sense I share his vision which seems simplified and down to earth showing his inspirations are to try and communicate something of the global nature of the ‘human condition’ through the local. I also appreciate what Hunter has to say about its not about the technology but the light and perhaps…the eye, one might add. I follow this.
In his interview he talks of being heavily influenced by classical painters especially Vermeer and the Pre-Raphaelites. It is noticeable in the possession order:
Hunter is concerned about social commentary not just aesthetics and this makes his work all the more interesting. He focused heavily on his local community which I think is interesting in and of itself and in many ways more appealing than the foreign travel photographer going to places that they do not necessarily know that well in order to take exotic shots.
Aesthetically the series ‘persons unknown’ is appealing, yet somehow I am left with a sense that the attempts to reflect paintings detracts from rather than adds to the work in general. The sense of which a photograph is imitating and drawing on the aspects of a painting have often disappointed in the past. This is also the case. I think that the narrative of the situation and the photo itself, would be sufficient enough without having to reference existing art works from other genres.
To say a bit more about this, knowing that this picture takes its inspiration from painting lands me imaginatively in the painting more than the photo as the painting has a longer more established history. Whilst I can appreciate his attempts to use the context of social commentary, I think also that he has somewhat detracted from the puctum of the image by basing it on painting with a similar theme.
However, in general I appreciate Hunter’s work and feel that his eye is revealing and interesting at a social documentary level.
As I am familiar with the territory that he is photographing (I am from the part of the world) the social/cultural references and signifiers stand out quite clearly thus I have a bias. People from other cultures may well have a different experience on viewing these photos.
- Hunter, T. Persons Unknown [online] http://www.tomhunter.org/tom-hunter-interview-with-ideas-tap/ [accessed, April 2020]
- Hunter, T. Youtube interview [online] https://es.video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-GenieoYaho-INTtraffichp&hsimp=yhs-INTtraffichp&hspart=GenieoYaho&p=youtube+interviews+with+Tom+Hunter+photographer#id=1&vid=b484a1ec02c33274206929841e7175ff&action=click [accessed, April 2020]