TAKING LIBERTIES: Archibald, Almas and Tompert at San Francisco’s Live Worms Gallery

09Nov10

I had a very fun evening this past Friday at the opening of Taking Liberties, an exhibit of fine art work by Tidepool Reps’ photographers Timothy Archibald, Erik Almas and digital artist Michael Tompert. Produced by Diane Eames, the show was “inspired by the desire to show our support for and share the amazing personal work these artists have in their portfolios,” said Kate Chase of Tidepool. It was standing-room-only at North Beach’s Live Worms Gallery.

By Claudia Tompert

By Claudia Tompert

Archibald is showing images from his book “Echolilia” and Almas a series of female nudes. Michael Tompert, founder of Raygun Studios, a CGI and retouching studio, is showing “12LVE,” a series of images made in collaboration with photographer Paul Fairchild.

I spoke with a magazine art director this weekend. He is also an artist and said he always looks at photographer’s personal work when he reviews portfolios/websites to get an idea of what they’re really passionate about shooting. Beyond this, I felt this was a rare opportunity to spend time with beautifully printed, large-scale prints of the fine art work of commercial artists, much of which we only see on websites.

With this in mind, it was a great experience to see this work in a gallery space and it was very interesting to think about the importance of taking the commercial artist seriously as a fine artist with a personal vision that informs their commercial work with something deep and real.

For full interview, please click on link below.

Erik Almas’ commercial work is undeniably beautiful—in composition, concept, scale, tonal palettes and technical expertise. His nudes are intimate, spare and romantic, shot in natural light and revealing of a love of form and beauty. A true artist, it seems the appreciation of and talent for creating beauty are at the heart of his commercial work as well.

Artist Print "Untitled 10" 2007 Erik Almas

Artist Print "Untitled 9" 2009 Erik Almas

Timothy Archibald’s “Echolilia: Sometimes I Wonder” published earlier this year by Echo Press and recently featured on the NYT Lens blog and on Time.com (and recently on this blog), is hung salon style in invitation to engage intimately with this deeply resonant project.

It is a much different relationship than seeing them in the book, each intimate in their own way. With the book, I felt I had a window into a very personal experience. With the exhibit prints, I had a more profound sense of my own feelings and experience in relation to this work. But more importantly, the sense of connectedness and real humanity in this project are some of the qualities that make his commercial work so uniquely powerful and relatable.

Using photography and scanography, Tompert’s images were made entirely without CGI. Tompert is a ‘photographer’s’ retoucher and CGI artist, a master at what he does with the eye of a photographer and a love for the immediacy and craft of photography. In his words, “combining high-resolution photography, scanography and self-referential iPhone photography, the images are large scale yet microscopic, providing a canvas for contemplating our relationship with fetish, fashion, freedom and bondage.” “12LVE,” runs in an extended show through November 14th.


iPhone 4
“Must Have”
Mode of Destruction: 8lb Sledge Maul
Digital Pigment Print, 48″x60″
Face mounted on 1/4″ Acrylic glass


“Caltrain Fatalities: Left Track/Right Track”
(12) 2010 iPod Nanos, 8GB
Mode of Destruction: Caltrain Diesel locomotive
Photography/Scanography Digital Composite
Digital Pigment Prints, 2 x 48″x60″
Face mounted on 1/4″ Acrylic glass

Live Worms Gallery is located in San Francisco at 1345 Grant Street. The show runs from November 5th through November 10th. A solo show of Michael Tompert’s, “12LVE”, extends through November 14th.

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2 Responses to “TAKING LIBERTIES: Archibald, Almas and Tompert at San Francisco’s Live Worms Gallery”


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