Today we’d like to introduce you to Thomas Yoxall.
Thomas, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
On January 12th, 2017, my life was forever changed. I was involved in an incident on Interstate 10, west of Phoenix where I used justifiable deadly force to save the life of an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer. This life re-setting event has changed my perception of a great many ideas and preconceived notions. The most important one of all is the realization that life is finite. It is fleeting and uncertain, and every day seen to its end is a day that should be well-lived. It’s because of this awakening that I stopped referring to myself as an “amateur” photojournalist. Why? Because it is now what I do full-time. It is my catharsis; it is my life; it is my passion. Being able to encapsulate a symphony of emotions with a single image drives me to be more astute to the empathic nature of us all. My hope is by sharing this with others, the persons that I photograph, to the people who see my images, I can mend what was once broken.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
With as little fan fair as possible, I attempt to bring raw truth to each passing moment of time. During my interactions, there is a pivotal moment when the transfer of trust occurs. This is the moment when the magic happens. When the curtain is pulled back, and the soul is revealed. These are times I find myself at peace.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
In regards to the delivery system of a person’s art, in my case photography, yes, the role of the artist has changed. The onset of social media and 24-hour news broadcasting has driven photographers to produce at the speed of now. The unfortunate byproduct of this is everyone fights to be first, forgetting that integrity, truth, and intimate substance of that content should take priority. We, content creators, are ultimately storytellers. However, there should never be a time when we let fame and fortune hinder our desire to be accurate portrayers of the world around us.
The changing landscape of the socio-political world, whether home or abroad, has vastly affected photographers and photojournalist. Every subject is controversial, every narrative taboo, every story posing some degree of risk, personally or professionally. The increasing difficulty of maintaining, standing and acting upon one’s convictions has forced some to recoil in fear. Rendering them impotent to create, and ultimately deliver their work. This type of folly is not mine, nor will it ever be.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have a web gallery, Sureshotphotgraphy.org, as well as a profile on Facebook and Instagram. My Facebook is SureShotPhotographyAZ, and my Instagram is @Arizonahooligan.
- Website: Sureshotphotography.org
- Email: Surehotphotography@icloud.com
- Instagram: @Arizonahooligan
- Facebook: @SureShotPhotographyAZ
The image of me was provided by Dan Tamarkin