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.
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.
Clean lines, shadows and elusive humans come together on Geometrix, from London-based photographer Rupert Vandervell. The black and white photography of film-noir and B Movies are as important as the soundtrack in creating the, now celebrated, mysterious mood these pictures are known for. Paranoia-inducing characters and unexplained appearances are key factors, Vandervell plays off these elements gently, never as an explicit intention. On the other hand, urban landscapes offers calm and intangible contemplation opportunities. The selection of sites chosen to build this series are drawn by shadows and sharp concrete architecture, as well as the heavy contrast to expose each angle with great detail. Geometrix goes beyond the usual abstract architecture exercise, with a minimal hint of performance from the fleeting figures. Restraint in the right measure is hard to come by.
Lucas Dias is a young Brazilian photographer and video-artist based in Barcelona who has recently opened the second show of his touring exhibition Cuerpos Urbanos (Urban Bodies). The series of double-exposures explores the limit between people and their surroundings — the skin of the body and the skin of the city — ultimately communicating the complexity of those relationships in an elegant, effortless manner. It is in the limit between body and landscape that the proposal for Urban Bodies is drawn. In an attempt of reenchantment with the world, diaphanous mirages are drawn, ethereal and subtle, provoking the observer’s eye. They reveal skins of transparent folds, and within the folds, invisible landscapes. With a background in Architecture studies, Lucas maintains the concept of ephemeral and diaphanous even in the exhibition design — the images were printed in large plates of transparent acetate, floating suspended in the air. Discussing the process behind his work, he reveals that Cuerpos Urbanos was the result of long and painful exploration, after many experiments and thoughts, confirming that a simple result is often the culmination of many iterations and hard work. Cuerpos Urbanos will be open at the aDa Gallery in Barcelona until the end of June...
I have a strong appreciation for minimalist photography, and when Portuguese photographer & filmmaker Nuno Andrade introduced his recent work to me, I was excited to share this with you, our readers. Nuno Andrade’s project titled EBM, is a brilliant and beautifully captured collection inspired by the Marine Biology Station of Funchal. This infrastructure is dedicated to scientific research and is designed to enable the development of science and technologies of the Sea, in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, especially in the areas of biology and ecology of coastal and deep waters. The building itself is designed by architect Gonçalo Byrne and consists of six floors. Minimalist architecture encapsulated by minimalist photography, which has been superbly executed by Andrade. He writes: I consider myself a coherent photographer and I know that my projects are expressions of my personal likes. I love visions with great impact, and I try to create powerful and timeless images.
The vivid city of Los Angeles is interpreted by photographer Nicholas Alan Cope in this photography book titled Whitewash, revealing forms, surfaces and volumes in visually stunning black and white images. His subjects of minimalist urban architecture stand out as an irony to what we typically perceive of the glamorous sprawling city on the surface and draws attention to the fact that much of LA is highly polarized in its demographic, urban planning, lifestyles and culture. As best described by Rick Owens in its forward: Whitewash utilizes the whitest whites, the blackest blacks, and the modern and stark architecture of an idealized future that never arrived to tell the visual story of LA’s uniquely conflicted soul. I really enjoy these images because they evoke an urbanism that appears to have been forgotten. The forms of the architecture are already severe yet when portrayed in black and white, they take on an identity often neglected in utilitarian buildings yet serve its purpose of reminding us of the post war boom of such structures and that there is beauty to be found within them.
Today I would like to feature Donata Wenders‘ photography of a world renowned architect Tadao Ando. In her bio Wenders mentions that she doesn’t direct her subjects, instead she observes and looks to showcase genuine expressions, body language, posture and appearance. Wenders develops an intimate communication between her subject and her lenses that is effortlessly passed on to the viewer. Black and white photography has always appealed to me for uncovering details that can sometimes get lost in colors and Wenders’ selective background compliments the architects philosophy of nothingness and empty space.
Studie Drei is a series of images by Berlin-based photographer Matthias Heiderich and within this series resonates a sort of timelessness that is captured so beautifully of the top of mostly utilitarian buildings and objects. Self-taught and a DJ and music producer as well, Heiderich has a portfolio of work that makes you wish you could see that same quality of ethereal beauty in the everyday object. The composition is striking and the colors are vibrate yet its most appealing quality is in its minimalistic, almost 2 dimensional style. These shots are my favorite because of how simple yet invoking they are.
California and Chiang Mai based photographer and designer Toby Keller has created this quite stunning minimalist series of white photographs. Beautifully executed, the White series is primarily focused on underground car parks and coastal lines, illustrating serenity and spaciousness. I find there is such a calming effect browsing this series, which is perhaps surprising because in reality, calmness is not exactly something that is typically associated with a car park, for instance. Yet, it is here, which is testament to Keller’s work. Perhaps equally beautiful and inspiring, is his Black photographic series. Enjoy.
Matthias Schade was born in 1984 in Berlin, Germany. His latest work is a series of photographs named (un)defined spaces – an investigation of urban space. An investigation of our living environment. Schade explains the concept behind the series: Contrary to the daily natural perception of urban space, my artworks of the (un)defined space series offer a directed and focused view on our surroundings. They invite the beholder to critically and consciously face its environment. It is not about a mere documentation of our environment but rather the chance to question things and to create new experiences. The young artist has been shortlisted for the Celeste Prize 2011 within the photo, digital graphics category back in November 2011. I love these very minimal and undefined photographs.
Nonspace is a series of photographs by UK-based photographer Emily Grundon. According to Emily: This work depicts several sites that are all considered to be successful and established exhibition spaces – constructed with the sole intention of displaying works of art. Nonspace not only aims to enhance the architectural quality of simplicity, moreover, it is intended that these observations commend the position of the photograph as a document of something that traditionally leads a relatively invisible existence. I think they’re beautiful and unassuming.
This photographic series is titled Sign Out by Poland-born, Düsseldorf-based photographer Josef Schulz. I assume that these photographs are found abstractions: Newly constructed signage that has yet to be adorned with typography and graphics. Captured in this incomplete stage, these photographs look equally surreal and futuristic, and our attention is turned away from the function of these objects to a heightened consideration of form and colour. Update: As Maarten suggests in the comments, these photographs are more than likely digitally manipulated. Seen in this light, the work’s title is literal. Sign Out refers to a removal of graphics in an attempt to reduce or minimalise what already exists to its most basic form.