The City of Detroit has continued to suffer population and economic decline since the late 50's. Under harsh conditions the liquor stores have survived in many areas where there are few other choices for purchasing the necessities of life. They serve a role that includes food, banking and telecommunications services. They represent a unique form of modern Detroit architecture and communication art.
Tom’s early inspiration was found in the work of German objective photographers Albert Renger Patsch and Bernd & Hilla Becher. His early obsession with these masters led to him taking on a vaguely Bavarian accent, wearing lederhosen, drinking large quantities of Düsseldorf Altbier and travelling around in a VW microbus strewn with film plates, a view camera and empty Reisling bottles. His earliest attempts at capturing the essence of ‘Neue Sachlichkeit’ was expressed in a single minded pursuit of water tower photography. What started out as a well-intentioned undertaking almost resulted in arrest when the police were called to investigate a report of what appeared to be an Oktoberfest reveller who was scaling a large metal water tower in Kenmore, New York. Tom has since dropped his European stylistic trappings, cut back on reisling consumption and refocused his view on other constructs and remnants of modern post-industrial society.
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