Thomas Balaÿ was born in France in 1977. At the age of 16, he fell under the spell of tropical plants after seeing a documentary on the Amazonian forest. In 1996 he decided to discover the Caribbean islands while studying tropical agronomy in Guadeloupe. In 2001, he moved to the United States where he began to photograph the subject of his passion. He collaborated with many botanical institutions creating photographic exhibitions and especially with the Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota, Florida, where he photographed rare and endangered plants and developed a travelling exhibition entitled "What if only photographs remain ?" Three years later, he returned to France to perfect his photographic technique at "l'école des Gobelin" in Paris and by becoming the assistant of several photographers.
In 2012, Thomas Balaÿ began two series, devoted to orchids and succulents, which he photographed in private and public collections over several years. Photographed in close-up on a black background, the plant is revisited in a sculptural stylization, close to surrealism, emphasizing the ingenuity and creativity of nature. Two books "Orchids" and "Succulents, le design végétal" were published by Ulmer in 2015 and 2017. Thomas Balaÿ reveals the sumptuousness and elegance of these plants created by nature and its millions of years of evolution. He raises them to the rank of works of art, to the status of icons of the plant kingdom. His photographs have been exhibited in several institutions such as the Art Center of the Château de Vascoeuil, the Botanical Garden of Nancy and the Contemporary Art Centre of Palazzo Tagliaferro in Italy.
Thomas Balaÿ "Plant Icons" - Botanical Garden of Bordeaux