“To make photographs that please is a common aim amongst photographers. Combining subject, composition, light and framing, the photographer hopes the viewer will admire an image’s visual qualities and its use of photographic conventions, its craft, so the actual subject can disappear or be reduced to bystander status and the photographer can become nonexistent, a mere camera holder.
Photographers can use other means to insert themselves into the photograph and The Unexpected is one; Unexpectedness, that is, for the viewer – in an unconventional subject that would not normally be considered worth pursuing or an initially invisible one that occurs only to the viewer who looks carefully.
A conventional subject is by its nature expected and a Tony Loxton photograph appears at first glance to be an empty photograph. But the unexpected can also elucidate and in a photograph can draw attention to what is often missed in the haste of daily living. People see what he sees by looking more carefully at a photograph than they would observe the world they live in. Tony looks on others’ behalf.
Photographs do not always make sense anyway, clearly revealing a logical world, because the world itself does not always make sense. To those who look it is full of human artifacts that have little or no meaning that create incongruity and contradiction. As time passes, function slips away with little reason for anyone to adjust the contradictory elements, to maintain a logical world. Situations and scenes occur that mostly go unnoticed, being irrelevant, of no consequence, except to the photographer. Invisible to the local, revealed by the outsider.
But Tony Loxton’s photographs are still hard to categorise. There’s too much of the personal to place his work alongside the currently popular street furniture genre, the collecting of letter boxes, red telephone kiosks and probably manhole covers (that’s an idea!) There’s too much humour, irony, science fiction, the surreal and chance. Found objects – ready-mades – litter his photographs. Other people’s intentions that aren’t quite intentional any more. Tony reads them and makes them permanent.
He clearly observes conventions of composition, if not of subject. The photographs are carefully designed and conceived, carefully framed, sometimes nonsensical, nearly empty scenes. He comments on social structuring and designs on the landscape, but he’s neither a social documentary photographer nor a landscape photographer.
His more recent work from 2011 and 2012 shows a sharper focus on his subject, as if he’s increasingly able to hold his subject down longer, to turn it over and study it at greater length. The surreal nature of his work is perhaps increasingly in tune with the nature of the world, certainly the one Tony inhabits. He doesn’t create, just harvests a seemingly ever more abundant crop of inanities and oddities, where the ordinary is not ordinary but the inexplicable is just plain inexplicable.”