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Thomas A. Daniel, born in 1948 in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a son of the South. A veteran of the Viet Nam War, he began his photographic career in South Viet Nam. He went on to receive his BFA in communications, art and design from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), his MA in photography from Goddard College, and his MFA in photo/film from VCU. He later returned to VCU as a Distinguished Visiting Artist in Photography.
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Mr. Daniel’s first photographs were of war and are in the permanent collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and in the publication of war photographs titled,
The Indelible Image; Photographs of war-1846 to the Present. Two monographs, titled Thomas Daniel and Into My Eyes, present Mr. Daniel’s extensive black-and-white documentary. Other permanent collections include the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, Virginia) and the William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut (Storrs, Connecticut). VCU’s Anderson Gallery holds the largest collection of his work. A four-time winner of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship, Mr. Daniel’s work has been shown in over 200 exhibits throughout the United States and abroad. One of his favorite exhibits, Anderson Gallery’s show, The Bad Boys of Photography, puts Mr. Daniel in the company of photography greats Danny Lyon, Bruce Davidson, Manuel Alverez Bravo, and Aaron Siskind.

Considered an “underground legend,” Mr. Daniel’s photographs are both a compassionate and unflinching look at society’s fringe cultures from the enobling and beautiful to abject and tragic. In Remarkable Modernisms, John Yau, poet and art critic, states that Daniel’s work “uses the camera to explore his own tenderness…not to delineate separation.” He is labeled a “New Critical piety” in Yau’s essays.

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