I went to sleep last night after ruminating about what “abstract” means in relation to art and sifting through the photos I had taken with this week’s photo challenge in mind.
This morning I woke up dreaming I’d been to a restaurant to start a new job but couldn’t make any sense of the paperwork I was supposed to fill out. The words were in English but I couldn’t read them. I was frustrated and confused; it was hard to pull myself out of the dream.
I’m pretty sure these two seemingly unrelated events got locked together in my subconscious. In thinking about the concept of abstraction last night I’d been reading other’s thoughts about it and honestly, had a more muddled view of the concept after my research than before it. My brain took that ambiguity and paired it with something in my past.
“The goal of abstract art is to communicate the intangible, that which eludes the photograph and normal seeing.”
– Curtis Verdun
Until I started searching I thought I had a good concept of what abstract was. After my search, I had less of an understanding. I suspect that it had something to do with my medium. Photography is usually perceived as being quite literal.
In the end, I’ve decided that my interpretation of abstract, through photography, is an image in which I can get lost, but which calms, rather than confuses me. It might take me searching but doesn’t leave me frustrated.
It’s a visual space in which I can seek but also rest.
I spent a few moments in a friend’s art studio recently and photographed these images in her sink, on her palletes and among the things she keeps around for inspiration.
I enjoy the fact that the byproducts of her art became my art.
And that her inspiration became mine.
Her literal…..her workspaces and her tools, became my abstracts.
The next images are me just playing around with what was in my life yesterday. Every now and then I can’t resist throwing all the photography and art rules away that I was “raised” with, completely relying on technology to take an image from literal to abstract. Because if I always stay with my original definition of art then where is the growth, right?
“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes… Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an explosion into unknown areas.”
Sometimes it’s good to walk into those unknown places.