Thomas Barbèy was born in Connecticut in 1957, he was brought to Europe from the time he was six months old. He lived in Italy and Germany, and then moved to Switzerland where he lived for 17 years. He spent a semester at the University of Geneva, but left to pursue a career in the music industry. He found success on the Italian music charts and subsequently moved to Italy where he remained for 15 years. During this time he focused on his music career while photography remained a hobby. By the early 1990s he owned his own fashion photography studio.
In 1995 Barbèy moved back to the US. He now lives in Las Vegas with his wife and business partner, Suzanne. He creates his images through a process he calls “photomixage.” His work is inspired by artists such as M.C. Escher and René Magritte as well as many years of traveling the world. His process begins with a concept, then creation and selection of negatives. Photography is a tradition in Barbèy’s family and he sometimes uses old negatives from the family archive in his work. To achieve the desired outcome, negatives are double exposed in the camera, sandwiched together to be printed simultaneously, collaged and re-photographed, and/or any combination of those processes.
Thomas has been a photographer for over twenty years now and prefers to use his old Canon AE1s when he shoots in 35mm or his RB67 when he shoots in medium format. More recently, he has been doing Black and White Photomontages for the sole purpose of doing Fine Art, without working for a specific client. He’s combined several images taken over a period of twenty years to create surreal situations with the help of the enlarger in a dark room. His work has a specific style and is very characteristic. He only works with Black and White, including Sepia toning at times. Thomas exhibits in galleries throughout the world and is included in many private collections.