© Thomas Clark | circa 1980
Shadows in the box is the the exploration of the life and times of mercurial existentialist photographer, Thomas Clark.
As an artist, Thomas Clark started his career at eleven years old when his mother, Gloria Clark, offered him an eight millimeter movie camera as a birthday present. From the steps of his St Albans House, home of many cultural american icons, including John Coltrane, Fats Waller and Ella Fitzgerald, to name a few, to the border of Nepal and India more than forty years later, this amazing photographer graced the streets of the world with an uncanny sense for still images in motion.
Streets after streets, in New York, in San Francisco, in LA, in Warsaw and more, Thomas roamed within an idea: What if these faces, encounters, scenes and places where linked together by an invisible force, that primal force in the universe, a force called love? As he gained confidence with the technique, the camera became an extension of his mind, heart and soul, as if it was capturing the elusive magic of the canvas of life itself.
To the untrained eye, this would have been invisible, like a mystery left to the ether made by the creator, but not to Mr Clark who felt that there was no mystery for an awaken eye that could see, just a discovery of each breath through, as quoted by himself, "Silent Rhythms". In essence, it is the work of a photographer, as it is born inside the camera until revealed in the picture for all of us to witness it in the light, when the shadows come to life.
As the passion grew, relationships started to form with fellow artists, muses and lasting friendships associated from further or closer to Thomas Clark's body of work which needed to be shared at some point. And, that point is now. This documentary is a testimony made from his point of view. As best as the medium of film could create, Thomas Clark narrates in his own words the journey that he took upon himself to undertake half a century ago till the present day.
As he reconnects with old photographer friends Peter Hill, and Stanley Greene, and discusses one of his essays on Off Track Betting with legendary photographer Robert Frank, Thomas Clark comes to life before our eyes as his shadows do outside the box.
© Peter Hill