3 years ago

The Art of the Abstract

Pablo Picasso said, "There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."

In preperation for writing this article I called on my wife to help pick out some photos that would best represent the thought I wanted to convey about abstract photography/art. She looked at the photo below and said, "Is that in a grocery store?"

I smiled at her and replied, "It doesn't matter."

"Yes it does," she said, "I want to know where it is."

I laughed and told her I had taken the picture at an open air market near Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

She glanced at a few more pictures before pointing to one.

"Whose shoe is that," she ask, "and where is the rest of it?"

"Does it matter?" I asked.

Again she replied with, "Yes I want to know!"

After several minutes of this I could see she was becoming frustrated with the photos, and, while she genuinely like some of them, she really did not get what I was trying to do.

"Let me explain." I said, "Abstract Photography and Art is suppose to invoke some of the very thoughts and feelings you are experiencing while looking at these photos."
"The photos should spark a myriad of questions in your mind, arouse your curiosity and stimulate the thought process."

"Oh, well it definately does THAT!", she said.

The subject matter for an abstract photo can be almost anything to start with, but in the end, when finished, it should invoke some kind of response from the observer, it should also leave them wanting more. The picture above was of an incredible Audi sports car taken at the 2019 Phoenix Car Show. The entire care is incredible and the photo is nice, but the photo above after being cropped down creates that desire in the viewer to want to see more of the car.

Abstract images most generally cause people to respond with questions.

"Is that a floor?"
"Is that a wall?"
"Is that in a bathroom? A mall? An airport?"

Abstract photography can be a lot of fun. Living here in the southwestern United States affords me an abundance of unique plant life that provides an endless source for abstract creativity. Cacti, succulents, rocks, canyons and mountains are all great subjects for the abstract image.

"In every landscape should reside jewels of abstract art waiting to be discovered."

--- Melissa Brown

"Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn't have any beginning or any end. He didn't mean it as a compliment, but it was."

--- Jackson Pollock

I hope you've enjoy my little exposistion on the abstract and I will leave you with one last quote.

"There is no such thing as abstract art, or else all art is abstract, which amounts to the same thing. Abstract art no more exists than does curved art yellow art or green art."

--- Jean Dubuffet

Hah, I will leave you to ponder that one for a while!

J. Allan Miller @steelthong

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