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2013 LES Solo Show Bio

Over the past ten years tcolla's work has come to define the New York surfing experience, capturing the essence of each season and swell. But he swears he's not a photographer. Tommy has documented countless hurricanes and nor'easters at the best spots in the region, had his photographs published internationally and plastered on buildings but will still convince you he's a "fotohack," a "hydrophilic" or some other word denoting an unserious approach from an otherwise committed individual.

He was born and raised in central Long Island, which might explain some of his Nicola Tesla-esque ideas. He started taking pictures as a kid after being given a single-lens reflex by his mom. For Tommy photography is a simple part of everyday living rather than a medium for trending or coattail riding. He's equally skilled in the darkroom as in photoshop and loves to joke, "Photography is something everyone should do, but not everyone should be called a photographer."

His approach is that of the ultimate mysto-man creeper and not because he prefers to go to the beach solo or sometimes leaves the state or even the country without mention. He gets you when you least expect it. Once his peers start expecting new imagery from him or making demands on his schedule, he retreats to one of his favorite pastimes like dodging traffic on his track bike at night in high winds. A few months later, saturated images from another coastline show up on your Instagram feed. "Colla's in the Caribbean?" There will be a variation in his work, playing with a different lens or composition style, continually throwing off preconceptions and keeping things fresh. Taking the passion of surfing seriously but never himself.

-Michael Machemer

© tcolla.com