Thorsen curates Sound Proof at Big Heavy World.
I was raised working in a family-owned business, having duties including photographing procedures and inventory. What I learned in the lab, I applied in the field, forming the photo club and being its president for four years in high school. After three years of college photography classes, I decided to apply my trade and left the UVM photo department. Fortunately, about the same time, I won second place in Kodak’s largest photo contest and used the money to travel extensively across Asia. I crossed the country of China twice — once to Mount Everest and second through the Gobi desert — photographing endlessly. I spent months in Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal and India, where I began to understand what light was saying to me and what I could say with light.
I ended my travels in the French Alps where I trained in mountaineering photography and climbed many of the highest passes and peeks. While in France, I maintained a darkroom, photographed for Alps Hockey magazine, tutored blind students and studied French at the University of Lyon.
Back in the United States, my friends and I began publishing a regional music magazine, Good Citizen. During that time I photographed every up and coming band in the area and many of its longstanding legends. As our magazine diversified, I produced photo art for album covers and promotions. Good Citizen merged with recently started local alt-weekly Seven Days. About the same time, Seven Days hired me as their sole photographer. I have been photographing for Seven Days for the past seventeen years.
I have been fortunate to photograph many of Vermont’s most interesting and newsworthy individuals, publishing more than 4,000 photos. I have worked closely with many grassroots and professional organizations. At one time candidate Howard Dean considered me for a White House photographer position. These associations have put my photos in a spectrum of households throughout Vermont.
— Matthew Thorsen