Be prepared to come unmoored, collectors, because The Storm Is Coming. Our fourth exclusive edition from wanderer Tom Kondrat's lauded Icelandic landscape series both complements its moody predecessors and kicks up a squall all its own.
Even on the smoothest seas, clouds can gather on a moment's notice. Indeed, the dark allure of storms lies in their utter unpredictability. Thunderheads nearly swirl with a sense of "what if?" In The Storm Is Coming, Tom Kondrat seizes a rare moment: that dual feeling of both apprehension and calm before the sky breaks wide open. Tom diffuses the tension and transforms the unease into a sort of suspenseful beauty. His lens coaxes the comforting, painterly abstraction of a Rothko from Mother Nature's foreboding elements by capturing the tempest-to-be in a reassuring, tight square frame, while executing a near-perfect balancing act—full-to-bursting clouds split almost evenly with the flat, dark indigo of the sea.
Ambiguity carries over into our sense of perspective too. There are no topographical clues to help us judge whether the photographer stands firmly on shore or floats far out to sea. Geographically we fare no better—feeling somewhere and nowhere all at once. And so we drift without a real sense of place in The Storm Is Coming, until the image is placed in context with the other work from the series. Then it's easy to see how Tom's vision is so perfectly aligned—his camera patiently chips away at the frozen environment of Iceland, all to uncover the same quiet grandeur in Bildudalur, plain, and abandoned beauty.
"What else is Tom up to these days?" We’re glad you asked. Currently based in Taiwan, he's hard at work on yet another ambitious project. Tom is creating one of the world's largest cameras to capture the aesthetic of traditional Chinese ink painting without the use of modern photo-editing technology. The camera is made for use with special paper negatives called Calotypes (one of the first photographic processes invented by Henry Fox Talbot in 1841). He's assembled a team of experts—including a Swiss wood-working master!—to help him build it. Tom's dedication will surely bring this audacious project to fruition. We can’t wait for the day when we’ll be able to announce a new edition crafted with this amazing instrument.
With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200