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...
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.
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.
Luca Sironi is a Milan based photographer and filmmaker who recently completed his conceptual photography project titled Rest Days. The project comprises 24 colour photographs depicting a series of closed shop shutters. Sironi explains: The shutters hide what’s inside, becoming apparently identical to each other, and in their repetition, looking more and more like a minimalist series of ordered anonymous headstones. The photos, taken in the towns of Bussero, Caponago, Carugate, Cernusco soul Naviglio, Gorgonzola and Pessano con Bornago, represent the change over the last 25 years in people’s social habits on Sundays (our typical rest day) in the areas these shops reside. In recent years the result is as if shops have changed their function, becoming symbols of the inhibition that consumerism exercises on spontaneous social aggregation, rather than useful daily facilities. I love the impact these photos make as a collective.
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.
Kevin Saint Grey is a photographer with a minimalist aesthetic. He says: Painters decide what to put into a work. Photographers decide what to leave out. In an way, his images are understimulating. This has the effect that you tend to ‘fill’ them with a little bit of yourself. Or, as one of his followers says in a testimonial: “I get lost in them.” I have collected just a very small sample of his work here; please do check out his full portfolio on Flickr or follow his blog. And in case you’re interested: prints can be purchased directly through the artist.