Tommy Ingberg : Photography and Surrealism

For me, surrealism is about trying to explain something abstract like a feeling or a thought, expressing the subconscious with a picture. For my work I use my own inner life, thoughts and feelings as seeds to my pictures.

Tommy Ingberg – I am a photographer and visual artist, born 1980 in Sweden. I currently live and work in Nyköping; a beautiful small city a bit south of Stockholm.

I have been preoccupied with photography for as long as I can remember, learning the craft first with an analogue camera and later with digital equipment. Today I focus mainly on montage work, especially my art, where I with photography and digital image editing create minimalistic and self-reflecting surreal photo montages dealing with human nature, feelings and thoughts. I take pictures outside and in my studio and combine them into montages in Photoshop.

About five years ago, during a rough period of my life, I started creating surreal photo montages dealing with my feelings and inner life. Although I have always felt a “need” to create  I don’t think I ever thought it to be about more than just creating pretty pictures. This time it was different, it was a way for me to try to sort out what was going on inside me, I stopped trying to make what I thought was “art” or “good photography” to others and made pictures just for me, because I needed to. I stopped caring about what other people might think of my work. By crossing that line I was free to tell my own stories, and by crossing the line from photography into photo montages I had the tools to actually tell those stories.

The reward was twofold, it helped me as a sort of therapy and in my art I also found a purpose, something I love doing and can be proud of.

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For me, surrealism is about trying to explain something abstract like a feeling or a thought, expressing the subconscious with a picture. For my work I use my own inner life, thoughts and feelings as seeds to my pictures. In that sense the work is very personal, almost like a visual diary. Despite this subjectiveness in the process I think the concepts and thoughts born in self reflection are universal for all of us, we all carry the same set of feelings inside us, and we all in our own way search for answers, trying to make sense of life, the world and being. I want my images to connect to the viewer on this basic level and invite to reflection. Good storytelling, visual, written or otherwise I think should hold a level of ambiguity; it should let you draw your own conclusions from your own perspective. I try to make my stories ambiguous and although I always have a concrete idea behind my pictures, with time my perspectives change and my original stories fade away and become replaced with new interpretations. So there is really no “right” interpretation, only what you see in a picture in this moment and mindset. It could be about something very philosophical or simply about that one time you had that horrible headache. I always love hearing different peoples interpretations of my pictures, it’s very interesting how we all think differently, but still in some way alike. [Official Website]

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