Minimalism

First you take a photo of raindrops on a street sphere. Then you think “Aha. That’s minimalist.”  Then you decide on a blog post of minimalist photos. Then you think “Blimey I don’t think I know what minimalist means.” And then you find yourself hooked up to Złoty Tarasy wi-fi, googling minimalism as you eat your apple pancakes and drink your latté.

You discover that you weren’t too far off the mark as you follow links and leads and names. Simple forms; cool rather than dramatic; light as a material presence; stripped back to colours, shape, textures; reduction to the essence; removal of biography and narrative. In fact removal of many things: composition, complex form, theme, metaphor, symbolism, emotion, reference, social comment, any sign at all of the artist.

Then you begin to test out expanded understanding on your own photos. You post them, and challenge argument. How minimalist are they? How are they minimalist?

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
This entry was posted in art, photos and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Minimalism

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I like the shadows and lines, but some are too minimalist for my eye. You’ve reminded me of my neglected Mindful Gypsy site, supposed to be Miksang but not always succeeding, contemplative but often too busy.

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    • You’ve driven me to investigate Miksang and your mindfulgypsy site. Most of my minimalism is certainly not Miksang because it’s been post-processed to the extreme. I’m also wondering how I can possibly not compose and shape what I see, since my eye has been trained. I guess that’s what contemplation/ meditation relieves one of, if one can achieve it. Thanks for a bit of mind-stretching. Walk well and increasingly. Love on a rainy day.

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  2. Sue says:

    First, fourth, sixth, seventh and tenth work reasonably well for me, as I have always considered minimalism as stripping to the essence – and in a photograph that would involve a tons of negative space and a strong element (or elements) image ten is the one I like best.

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  3. Rosemary Barnard says:

    The shadows work for me as they retain the original forms, reduced to essentials but recognisable. The blurry ones don’t. Abstracts, maybe.

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    • A few of the blurry ones were attempts at light as it fell in the stairwell and on the kitchen wall at R’s. Don’t work as minimalist? Or as aesthetic pleasure? Or both? And how would you define the difference between abstract and minimalist? Thanks for responding.

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  4. Heyjude says:

    Oh, here we go again – Meg taxing my brain! I suppose if I was to say what minimalism is to me from the top of my head I’d say clean lines, no clutter, space, a sense of calm. So if I translate that into photos then most of yours suggest pattern or impressionistic – is that the same as minimalism? On that basis #1 might work if you got rid of those pipes in the corner as they immediately draw me into a narrative – room, pattern on ceiling. You did ask 😛

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  5. restlessjo says:

    Oh, I do love you! Budge up and share the apple pancakes 🙂 🙂 Did I read devoid of personality in there? Well, your photos are seldom that! I like the leaf best and I’m pretty sure it’s not very minimalist. I defer to everyone’s superior judgement.

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  6. I’ve got to add this, from an email from a friend who always comments by email, and whose comments I always want to share. Thank you so much, Prue, for taking minimalism into a different realm

    “I used to know and play a lot of minimalistic music, mostly in a group in Sydney called Ear Cleaning, lead by a composer now long dead called David Ahern. This was a course run by WEA,

    I now listen to it when its played on ABC/FM (infrequently).

    Minimalism for me is a pulse that is heard, like a heart beat, snoring, a door rattling with the wind, I once designed a piece based on effervescence, exploring the different sounds and colours (imagined) of things fizzy.

    You can imagine how much I’ve enjoyed listening to your minimal visual images. They make my fingers long to stroke them, a tactile minimalism.

    I used to imagine the sound of the regular footsteps of centipedes and ants, quite exhilarating by being so visual only.”

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