Thomas Hawk

San Francisco, CA

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Sometimes I like to think of myself as a photography factory. I see my photographs mostly as raw material for projects that might be worked on at some point later on in life.

We all have but a short time on this earth. As slow as time can be it is also fast, swift, furious and mighty and then it’s over. Jack Kerouac is dead. Andy Warhol is dead. Garry Winogrand is dead. Lee Friedlander, Stephen Shore and William Eggleston are not dead yet, but probably will be at some point. Charles Bukowski once said that endurance was more important than truth. Charles Bukowski's now dead.

When I'm not taking or processing the pictures I'm mostly thinking about the pictures. I'm trying to publish a library of 1,000,000 finished, processed photographs before I die.

The absurdity of my obsessive compulsive view on photography is not lost on me. But it is the absurdity of life that I find most beautiful of all. Where Sisyphus had his stone I have my camera and a bag full of lenses.

Document, explore, lather, rinse, repeat. Photography for me then becomes a kind of hyperactivity, loosely arranged and presented. My work is less about individual images and instead more about the power of a massive amount of excessive and disjointed images where stories, characters and places sometimes stay and other times reappear or disappear entirely for no good reason at all.

Most of my images are Creative Commons licensed, non commercial with attribution. If you'd like to use any CC licensed images for non commercial or personal purposes feel free. If you'd like to use any of my "all rights reserved" photos for non-commercial purposes feel free as well, unless they are licensed by Getty Images in which case I'm under contractual obligation not to let people use them.

"I discovered that this camera was the technical means in photography of communicating what the world looks like in a state of heightened awareness. And it's that awareness of really looking at the everyday world with clear and focused attention that I'm interested in."
- Stephen Shore

Pinned to Jack Kerouac's wall to inspire his writing: "Art is the highest task and the proper metaphysical activity of this life."-Nietzsche

You can contact me at tom(at)

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