Sofia has chosen a very interesting theme for this week – please visit her blog for more inspiration! Personally I might go for Simplicity/Complexity for the most part, but the labels are not easily set… So, let’s discuss them – and I will start with a quote of my liking:
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.
– Bertrand Russell
The first two images could go for simplicity/complexity as well as minimalism/maximalism – but, I feel there is a certain difference… do you feel that too? Sofia wondered if it had to do with the subject – and I think it might.
The first one shows an old boatsman’s cottage, sparsely furnished in light, Scandinavian colours. The second one is the abandoned cottage of Åke, the man who made Kyrkö Mosse famous for its car graveyard in the forest. Do you think his single room could be called complex/maximalistic? It is sparsely furnished… but abandoned and left in a mess of details and colours – which also could be a description of what maximalism is about.
To me, the first photo shows a scenery for my eyes to rest on, and in the second photo my eyes are immediately drawn to strange details instead.
You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.
– Vernon Howard
The second couple of images might be minimalism/maximalism if you compare them, but the white dress is still detailed and elaboratedly made. Simplicity? Maybe, but the right one, a man’s dress, could easily be labelled both maximalism and complexity. Both outfits were made for great feasts but in different countries of Europe.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
– Hans Hofmann
Last week we went for a couple of days to the small town of Västervik, where we wanted to see graffitti from three years of festivals. In an art museum, they also had some old Cirkus posters from one of the world’s greatest collections exhibited. Because of their fragility though, they were now being digitalised before going to the archives. (6000 of them were already there.) Some were as old as late 18th century. In the early history of cirkus some established artists, such as Tolouse Lautrec, were engaged to make the posters.
I would call the first poster minimalistic and the second one the epitome of maximalism. The Cyrk posters were made in Poland, and Trolle Rhodin held his famous cirkus shows in Sweden. Notice the US theme. I find the Polish poster very artistic, and still telling us the story perfectly well – what it is all about – without many details.
My last example is the beach – the first one the way I like it best, and the second one I would never visit. So, what does that tell you about me? I guess I am more minimalistic then, but I still like details… And how did I manage to take the second beach photo? Well, I went there just for a photo of the incredible crowd…
Finally, like Sofia, I will end with a scene that once blew me away – a poster for a fashion exhibition by our world famous designer Lars Wallin. I still find it so ”clean” and delicate.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
– Leonardo da Vinci
Thank you, Sofia, for making me question my thoughts on the essence of these words, and what I really like the most. An eye opener.
I would like to thank you all for the wonderful challenge responses last week. Magnificent, so many inspiring and innovative triptychs! As for this week, Sofia invites us to think of which fits our narrative best, simplicity or “more is more”, minimalism or maximalism, or does it depend on the subject? We’re looking forward to seeing your posts. As always, use the Lens-Artists tag and link to Sofia’s original post.
Next week the brilliant Anne at Slow Shutter Speed will host so make sure to have a look at her blog.
If you want more information about the Lens-Artists Challenge, please click here.