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Thread: Minimalism vs the old guys

  1. #1

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    wm c boyer

    Minimalism vs the old guys

    I wanted to start a new thread discussing the differences to glean the opinions of you folks. I generally embrace the concept of minimalism but...in this quest to be an artist, as well as improving compositional skills, I am continually being told to study the "old masters". This quest recently led me here...http://faso.com/brushbuzz/links/10376

    I understand the concept of eye travel throughout an image, left to right/up to down/trying to keep the eye in the frame/etc., but...how do you balance the old masters with the concept of minimalism?

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    Re: Minimalism vs the old guys

    Quote Originally Posted by chauncey View Post
    how do you balance the old masters with the concept of minimalism?
    I don't pretend to be a serious student of art, but for me the concepts the old masters used would apply to minimalism insofar as leading the eye through the scene is concerned. The only difference is that there is less content in a minimalistic scene. The eye needs to be led through it in the same manner as images that have lots of content.

  3. #3
    gaijin's Avatar
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    Re: Minimalism vs the old guys

    Well, there isn't necessarily anything for the eye to be led through. The infamous Rhein II photo showing grass, a road (or a path), the Rhine, and the sky is just an assemblage of layers, not even Photoshop layers. It's a bit like a Rothko: you look at it and you experience something. Or you don't. Less is more. Less can be more. Certainly more than the Géricault you can see in the above link, a good, well-constructed painting with lots of diagonals and brush strokes. It's impressive and shows skill, but it's also overly dramatic: it's too much. Old Masters were selling their know-how, their artistry. They were (usually) cramming as much in as possible (Dutch still lives in the C17, for instance). Yes, understanding how they did it is a good thing, but only to train your eye and your brain. Picasso, after all, knew how to do it, and then he did something else. Jackson Pollock, I believe, didn't, and he was still fairly successful. I don't either, and my photos are of no interest to man nor beast... Look! See! Breathe! Find you own way!

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