Minimalissimo


Categorized “Photography”

The long expected World Trade Center transportation hub by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava is due to open later this year in New York. In 2004, Calatrava unveiled his design for the new facility for Lower Manhattan, replacing the original Port Authority Trans-Hudson rail system that was destroyed on September 11, 2001. The design is an expression of Calatrava’s signature skeletal structures. The building — the Oculus — is a free standing structure and creates calmness amid the urban jungle of commercial towers. The Oculus is elliptical shaped and comprised of steel ribs and glass. The soaring articulated ribs create two canopies over the north and south parts of the plaza. I love the dynamic exterior! Calatrava explains: The building is built with steel, glass and light. They will all be equal building materials. The station appears transparent, and also guards you with its wings. The white marble interior looks magnificent. It is light and airy. The steel and glass wings allow daylight to pass through the rail platforms approximately 18 meters below the street. The roof has an operable skylight made of glass panels that will be opened to the elements each September 11. Photography by Tamara Weber.


The conflict between what the architect has on his mind and what is actually possible to build will always be a significant factor for pushing the possibilities of new technology and constructions. Fortunately, contemporary professionals can visualize and test their valued creations beforehand with digital tools; sometimes it’s the ideal method to clearly grasp the boundaries of each creation. Nevertheless, what happens when an architecture project is intentionally otherworldly? Italy-based artist Michele Durazzi explores many possibilities of surreal and grandiose buildings — the only limits he inflicts himself is a clear minimalist preference towards geometry and simple visual compositions. For each scenario, Durazzi lays a unique perspective for the camera and arranges the duality between human and construction carefully. On every building, there is an inquisitive inclusion of a guest; most are playfully or comfortably enjoying this absurd world around them. The white color plays a vital role as it reduces everything down to the essential: the symmetrical structures and exploration of details and textures. Of all the possibilities digital art can bestow to a creator, it is a pleasure to see a curious brand of minimalism and fantastic architecture take the center stage.


Crafted by Canadian artist Karen Zalamea, Pierre/Paysage  (Stone/Landscape in French) is a collection of ten photographic images presenting transformed representations of space. Layers of acetate were cut into different geometric shapes, carefully positioned and lit to create different formal arrangements, alluding to abstract yet quite tangible architectonic, topographic and cartographic silhouettes – at once diaphanous and yet surprisingly solid. Zalamea’s work is involved in the material concerns of image-making practices, often incorporating intricate processes that fuse elements of drawing, sculpture, and performance in her photographic and video production. A stunning feat to coordinate so many disciplines into such sophisticated, minimalistic outputs.


A collaboration between London-based photographer Bruno Drummond and set designer Hattie Newman, Paper Mountains, recycles and decontextualizes the intricate paper sculptures created by Hattie for a project both had previously worked on, suddenly giving them new life. Generally speaking sets for photoshoots tend to be made as one offs — once the shoot is over the set might be stored, recycled or disposed of; an enormous amount of work goes into producing the sets yet the work of the designer might end up hidden from view. After realising how some of the elements of the set would make a great project in their own right, they set to create a series of formal studies, finding a fresh set of characteristics in the pieces. Some of the technical work that would normally be hidden, like the joining flaps of two paper mountains, were made visible. In some cases the pieces have been placed without reference to how they might stand in reality. For Drummond, the objects became suggestive of entirely different things than what they originally meant — beached ships or sea-creatures left stranded at the high tide mark.


Brasília is known far and wide for its unique urban planning by Lúcio Costa and, unsurprisingly, modernist architecture that comes along with it by Oscar Niemeyer. Taking into account the particularities of Niemeyer’s buildings, such as explicit concrete structures, geometric sharp angles, surprising curves and the sheer large scale and amplitude of each creation. The often-considered futuristic designs are no strangers to coffee table photography books, so it’s refreshing to see a masterful take of Brasília’s iconic buildings with a minimalist and night-time twist. Norway-based photographer Øystein Aspelund visited the modern capital of Brazil and managed to capture a fascinating collection of unlikely portraits of famous buildings with great expertise in shadow play; whilst making very clear how grand the scale is, towering over the lone human figures. The variety and eclecticism of textures and forms is exquisite, all the while achieving a clear minimalist visual composition. Øystein showcases Brasília’s modernism with a night shade that covers the surrounding areas to expose the expressive and very authentic elements from each building. This is a great introduction for newcomers and an unusual take for locals and enthusiasts to behold. To simplify and reduce successfully is not an easy task at all...


Inspired by East Londoners’ pastel-hued hairstyles and boasting a 30-year heritage of traditional British manufacturing, accessories brand Ally Capellino‘s SS15 collection features a rose-tinted collection of rucksacks, satchels and bike-bags in ice cream shades and pastel hues, with every design constructed using waxed cotton and Italian veg-tanned leather. Photographed by Agnes Lloyd Platt with styling by Aurelia Donaldson, make-up by Sky Cripps-Jackson and hair colouring by Olivia Crighton of Glasshouse Salon, the lookbook materializes a beautifully simple idea brought to life by colour-blocking, elegant set design and flawless execution.


Sara Medina Lind — @saramedinalind — is a half Swedish, half Canarian freelance art director and photographer currently living in Vasastan, Stockholm. In between working on visual identities, product photography and shooting interiors for magazines, Sara has put together a remarkably beautiful photo collection of her home where any minimalism enthusiast would dream of living. We caught up with Sara to get to know a little more about the photographer behind the lens. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? I often get inspired by sunlight, architecture, materials, shapes and feelings. A tiny detail can be inspiring too. I like to focus on one thing at a time, to keep it simple and clean. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? I always feel a bit more creative when traveling to new places. To meet talented people also brings my creativity forward. Calm places often inspire me the most, places where stress doesn’t exist. When and how do you decide to take a photo? When I feel inspired and have an idea I quickly grab my camera! Sweden is a very dark country so this time of year when the light starts to show I feel more creative...


Currently based in New York, Ward Roberts is an Australian conceptual artist whose compelling and mysterious photographs draw on themes such as loneliness and isolation in the modern world. His perspective is contemporary and sophisticated, creating images that are full of emptiness and incredibly poignant. There is an innate energy at the core of his work that makes his compositions seem painterly and borne out of academic calculated patience. Despite the studied balance of his work, his preferred medium is analogue — I love how the grain massages the tone, the range of color, contrast, and organic qualities. Digital is for perfection. And you know, the world is not perfect and neither are the people in it.


Naples based Italian photographer Salvatore Pastore recently drew my attention when I was introduced to his strikingly minimal and monochromatic Blank series. The work comprises 11 black and white images featuring exterior and interior shots of various buildings. It concerns the blank not as an empty space, but as the feeling of disorientation in the spectator staring at these images. Blurring the lines between the real world and the virtual world. Are they digital creations, photographs or what? Furthermore, this disoriented observation is slowly guided by slightly and purposely imperfect geometries and only at the end — when viewing the final image — do we understand and realise that we are looking at photographs and nothing else. Compelling minimalism that has been beautifully captured. I’m excited to see what Pastore produces in the future.


Marja Wickman — @mustaovi — is an art director from Finland. She also runs Musta Ovi (The Black Door) — a blog focused on house building and Scandinavian design. We take a closer look at Marja’s striking photographs of her beautifully styled home and gain a small insight into how such a collection has materialised. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? The bright and spacious layout of our house is the main source of the inspiration behind my minimalist photo collection. I have photographed our brand new house with each construction phase until this moment. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Surrounding nature and all the white and light spaces as well as the contrasts and simple forms inspire me. Various architectural solutions capture my attention as well. When and how do you decide to take a photo? The most important is the light. When you capture the moment, when the light comes from the right angle, is magical. Just about anything else is not needed! What are your favourite words on minimalism? “The simplest things are often the truest.” — Richard Bach, 1936 Would you like the opportunity to have your minimalist Instagram collection featured?...


When great creativity is followed by perfect technical work, the result can be something as astonishing as this campaign for the Dutch company Friesland Campina Kievit — promotion of their powdered milk creamers. The fully integrated marketing campaign was created by Norvell Jefferson agency, where the Belgian photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte developed a lovely photo shoot, capturing the acrobatic dancer Noi Pakon moving with fine particles of powdered milk. Without doubt, a remarkable and complicated collaboration that investigates many of aspects such as motion, still and light, to create a plain and pure result. You can also the watch the fantastic making-of video.


Adi Adireg — @ad_i_ — is a fashion design student, currently working on his thesis collection at Srinakharinwirot University Bangkok, Thailand. Adi also runs a design blog, The Place Is Gone Now, which features his own photography, his artwork, and design inspiration. Today we highlight some of Adi’s beautiful photography, published on Instagram, whilst learning a little more about the man behind the lens. What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? I personally like simple things, but those simple things have to be very interesting and well considered. I like to meet and get involved with people who share the same interest and way of thinking, be it a matter of fashion, design, architecture etc. All these things reflect my style and the way I am. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Apart from my formal study, I have been observing different styles of people in the cyber world. Not only am I very interested in minimalism, which I especially like, but I also find designs of different directions very intriguing and resourceful. I often visit book stores in Bangkok where designers meet and exchange ideas. It is a great source of new inspiration. When and how...