Thursday, August 1, 2013

Photographic Subject Matter - Abstraction/Simplicities

   When you remove any reference to an objects origins or use; when you get so close that it no longer exists in a recognizable environment, you are "abstracting" the object.  Some would argue that photographic abstractions are somewhat of a oxymoron and have no  place as a photographic genre.  I think they have an exciting role to play in the medium although I haven't done much with it in the past.  I work more in the semi-abstracted form and I call my studies Simplicities.

    I believe my thinking along these lines originates with my love of Chinese and Japanese brush paintings.  They say so much with so little and allow vast areas of unfilled paper to dominate the compositions.  They are not, however devoid of subject matter...they are just simplified down to a simple and solitary stroke.  My Winter Etching series is a good example of my simplicities.  There is still some reference to reality, at least you see the metal spiral as some sort of man-made element and it is clear that the dark tones in the background are shadows of some sort.  The calligraphic quality of the subject is obvious.

   During my stay at the Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky this past April, I did dip my toe into the waters of pure photographic abstraction with a photograph I call White on White.  You might be hard pressed to decipher what it is a photograph of.  So why did I make a photograph of it?  It was the softly modulated light on the plaster ceiling above my head and the lovely curved edge I found compelling.

   I can't say I am ready to dive into photographic abstraction head first after making this image but I am much more open to looking at its possibilities now and that is a good thing.

   Visit my Pinterest board, Simplicities - Photographic Abstractions to explore more images and be sure to read Kim Manley Ort's blog post on photographic abstraction here.  After reading Kim's post I might be inspired to try some color abstractions!  Visit Andy Ilachinski's blog here to view his amazing color abstractions.

     Just a reminder, my website, is no longer up as I've transferred most of  the images to the folios on this blog.  I haven't done the Simplicities folio yet...still working on that...but the folio of the Shaker images, "Simplicity and Light" contains several.

1 comment:

kimmanleyort said...

I love your white on white image and thanks for the link to Andy's work.