Thomas H. Durand

I am a graduate of the Museum School of Fine Arts and an active photographer, painter and art advocate in the Boston area. In addition to producing my own work, I curate shows at JP Licks‚ public art locations, and sit on the board of the Jamaica Plain Arts Council.

As a photographic artist, I enjoy the hunt of discovering a location for an image and working out its composition. I also enjoy the mystery of not always knowing exactly what an image will look like until the final creation emerges on its own. With light, texture, color, tones and personal aesthetics, I try my best to make a good photograph that I feel evokes some sort of emotion.

My influences come from many places, which incorporate my thoughts on the human condition generally - on religion, nature, music, art history, American icons, social and current issues in addition to my own emotional demons and delights.

The Sock- Monkey Series: Where Socks Go

The sock monkey doll became my photographic subject after a particularly personal time of crisis. The dolls became a sort of extension of myself. These hand made, depression-era dolls were perfect figures to express the seemingly never-ending, raw emotions I was experiencing. The images are simultaneously playful, hopeful, comforting and sometimes disturbing. Between the images, their titles and the human experiences they evoke, there are often multiple ways of entering and engaging that bring tears to some and laughter to others.

I began sewing the dolls myself, experimenting with wire armatures to allow the characters to hold positions in a more animated and expressive way than their original floppy counterparts. Some of these dolls are made specifically for one photographic shoot and some are more sculptural, standing on their own as works of art.

No monkeys were harmed in the making of these photographs.