Like abstract painting, abstract photograph chooses to isolate shapes, lines, color, divorced from reality and boiled down to the very essence of a sensation or impression. The difference is painting starts with a blank canvas and adds elements whereas in abstract photography the photographer uses a camera to isolate and subtract from reality.
Finding shapes, patterns, detail and composition from the larger world and eliminating all sense of context and meaning other than the pure sensation and tension created by line, texture, light, dark, color and perhaps movement.
Abstract photography, sometimes called non-objective, experimental, conceptual or concrete photography, is a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world and that has been created through the use of photographic equipment, processes or materials.
An abstract photograph may isolate a fragment of a natural scene in order to remove its inherent context from the viewer, it may be purposely staged to create a seemingly unreal appearance from real objects, or it may involve the use of color, light, shadow, texture, shape and/or form to convey a feeling, sensation or impression.
The image may be produced using traditional photographic equipment like a camera, darkroom or computer, or it may be created without using a camera by directly manipulating film, paper or other photographic media, including digital presentations.
Interesting article from the BBC investigates the influence of the CIA on the art world after World War II. As the Cold War began to heat up immediately after the defeat of Hitler in Germany and with the Russians grabbing a strong hold in East Germany, how did New York replace Paris as the center of the artworld?
An what about this new art-form of Abstract Expressionism, the antithesis of the traditional French Art Academy painting. From strict formal rules and approval by the academy to no rules and seemingly no skill required.
“The Abstract Expressionists emerged from obscurity in the late 1940s to establish New York as the centre of the art world – but some say they became pawns of US spies in the Cold War.”
Was Abstract Expressionism part of the culture war against the godless communists? Never before in history had an art movement so rapidly move to the top of the charts and start receiving so much money and attention.
By 1958, “The New American Painting, an influential exhibition organised by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, began a year-long tour of European cities including Basel, Berlin, Brussels, Milan, Paris, and London. The triumph of Abstract Expressionism was complete.”
Consider the war ended in 1944 so the emergence of a new art movement from New York no less to world domination took only 12 years. Did the CIA whose mission was to promote American freedom against the Soviets and communism have a part in the rise of Abstract Expressionism? Did they bank roll the exhibits and other wise promote the movement and help it spread around the world? That’s story in the BBC article which come to no concrete conclusions although has people who were involved arguing both sides.
In any case the consumerism celebrated in the Pop Art movement that came after Abstract Expressionism seemed even more of a celebration of freedom and the American way especially in contrast to the toil and bread lines of Soviet controlled Russia. Art as a weapon or as a political expression for a more desirable way of life is a fascinating topic.
Tote bags are available in three different sizes (13” x 13”, 16” x 16”, and 18” x 18”) and include a 1” wide shoulder strap for easy carrying. Each bag is made from 100% poly poplin and gets double-stitched at each seam and stress point for added durability. The artist’s design is printed onto the exterior surfaces of the tote bag (front and back), and the interior surface includes a black-laminate lining for quick wipe-cleaning. Each tote bag can also be machine washed in cold water. Professionally designed tote bags were uploaded to the site, each of which can be purchased online and shipped worldwide within 2 – 3 business days.
Fine art photography and digital art by artist Edward M. Fielding. Fielding is an artist working in the photography and digital media. As a freelance artist my work is currently represented by several leading stock agencies. My work has appeared in featured in numerous magazines, greeting cards, advertising, book covers and media companies as well as been widely shown and juries into fine art shows.
Recently I was one of the featured artists in the PhotoReel art show at Gallery W at the Whitney in the Berkshires.
In addition to fine art photography, I enjoy being a staff educator at the AVA Gallery and Arts Center in Lebanon, NH teaching creative technology such as Scratch and Lego Mindstorms robotics to elementary and middle school children.
All work in this gallery is the original work of Edward M. Fielding. It is for sale, copyrighted to Edward M. Fielding and, as such, is protected by US and International Copyright laws.
NOTE: The watermark DOES NOT appear on the final print.
….. I use my photography to communicate my vision of the world. My work deals with storytelling in light and shadow from the beauty, texture and shape of every day objects to wonders of the natural world. Thanks for stopping by! — Edward M. Fielding
“Abstract photography, sometimes called non-objective, experimental, conceptual or concrete photography, is a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world and that has been created through the use of photographic equipment, processes or materials.”
One of my all time favorite photographers was the late Jan Groover who’s most celebrated works included still life object presented in surreal, abstract worlds.
Jan Groover’s work was the subject of a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1987, for which an accompanying catalogue was printed. Her work has also been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Baltimore Museum of Art; Cleveland Museum of Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, New York.
On my bookshelf is a first edition copy of the book from the MoMA show and I prize it dearly as it inspired some of my early experimentation with my vintage press camera and 4×5 Polaroid images transfers of abstract still lifes.
I still have that big bulky camera but I’ve since moved on digital cameras that don’t require me to mix up batches of smelly chemicals and hide out in a closet developing film.
Abstract photography certainly is not limited to the studio. Abstractions can be found anywhere in the wider world, its just a matter of discovering interesting patterns, textures and designs and removing them from their surroundings. Removing the visual clues that tell the viewer what they are looking at focuses the viewer to concentrate on the pure lines, patterns and design of the image.
Examples of Abstract Photography
Abstract Photography, like abstract art, focuses on shape, form, color, pattern and texture. It seeks to show the subjects essence, not the reality.
“Abstract photography is based on the photographers eye. We’re looking to capture something in a way that it would not usually be seen. Looking for the details, the patterns, the lines, the form, shape and colors that complete a subject and utilizing those key features to make an engaging image.”
I sell a lot of photography on Fine Art America and Pixels.com as well as licensing my photographs to publishers and designers around the world on a daily basis but I find its nearly impossible to see my abstract paintings online. Its just the nature of the beast I suppose, wrong venue. Basically you can’t sell what is not seen and with abstract paintings exactly what do people search for to find your work?
That’s the problem I think. Abstract paintings can hit you emotionally when you see them in a gallery or even in a hotel, boardroom, a swanky modern apartment in New York but online you have to do a lot of imagining to see how they will look in your home or office. Plus typically with online searches you have to know a bit of about what you are looking for and how does one do that with abstracts?
Sure if you know the artist’s name you could search by artist. But how many people can describe exactly what type of abstract painting they are looking to purchase? I know when I stay in a hotel room decorated by nice abstracts I’m intrigued but often the artist name isn’t on the work and how would I search for it other then using my cell phone and some kind of image search app like Google Goggles?
Selling abstract artwork online certainly is one of the biggest challenges facing an artist trying to sell their abstract work on the online print on demand sites. Getting someone to see the work and to appreciate how it will look in the potential buyers home.
This is weird or a bad reflection of how well search engine ranking company like Alexa computer the stats on various web sites. According to Alexa the top search engine search term used to send people to Fineartamerica.com is “fine art america” at 4.84%. That’s fine but the second term is…wait for it…bob ross painting for sale with 2.61%.
The third most popular search term that sends people to Fine Art America is abstract painting at 1.65% and then in fourth more Bob Ross!
A full 1.06 head to Fine Art America after searching for “bob ross original painting”!
Really, Bob Ross is that popular? Hasn’t that guy been off PBS for years? Didn’t he die ten years ago? The guy was kind of known for…well, let’s say… amateurish, hobbyist kind of paintings. Right?
According to Wikipedia:
Robert Norman “Bob” Ross (October 29, 1942 – July 4, 1995) was an American painter, art instructor, and television host. He was best known as the creator and host of The Joy of Painting, an instructional television program that aired from 1983 to 1994 on PBS in the United States, and also aired in Canada, Latin America and Europe.
His style is described as:
Ross used the wet-on-wet oil painting technique, in which the painter continues adding paint on top of still-wet paint rather than waiting a lengthy amount of time to allow each layer of paint to dry. From the beginning, the program kept the selection of tools and colors simple so that viewers wouldn’t have to make large investments in expensive equipment. Ross frequently recommended odorless paint thinner (aka odorless mineral spirits) for brush cleaning. Combining the wet painting method with the use of large one- and two-inch brushes, as well as painting knives, allowed Ross to paint trees, clouds, mountains, and water in a matter of seconds. Each painting would start with simple strokes that appeared as nothing more than smudges of color. As he added more and more strokes, the blotches would transform into intricate landscapes
“Ross was well known for the catchphrases he used while painting such as “happy little trees”. In most episodes of The Joy of Painting, Ross would note that one of his favorite parts of painting was cleaning the brush”
bicycle, often called a bike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A bicycle rider is called a cyclist, or bicyclist.
Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century in Europe and as of 2003, more than 1 billion have been produced worldwide, twice as many as the number of automobiles that have been produced.They are the principal means of transportation in many regions. They also provide a popular form of recreation, and have been adapted for use as children’s toys, general fitness, military and police applications, courier services, and bicycle racing.
The basic shape and configuration of a typical upright, or safety bicycle, has changed little since the first chain-driven model was developed around 1885. But many details have been improved, especially since the advent of modern materials and computer-aided design. These have allowed for a proliferation of specialized designs for many types of cycling.
Bicycle Art Print, His and Hers decor, Bike art, bike wall decor, bright modern wall art,bicycle art print… … Bicycle Art, cycle Art, Bike Art, Beer Sign, Cycling Art, Beer Gift Bike Enthusiast Bar Decor Office Art Vintage Inspired… Quote Print, Printable wall art decor poster …
Close up details of my new series of abstract paintings based on nature at the microscopic level. Cell structure provides the theme of these bold, colorful, intriguing pieces.
They look fantastic group together as three squares horizontally across a living room wall, framed and matted in a conference room or waiting area, or grouped as four squares. Many of the pieces in this modern collection of abstracts are square which makes displaying multiple pieces easy.
These images also work great as throw pillows and totes which are also available. Nothing wakes up a white leather sofa like a bold, colorful modern pattern like in this series of abstract paintings.
To begin with a neutral palette, like a creamy sofa and rug ensemble, we can see that the series of swatches across the canvass picks up not only the paler hues, but works through the spectrum to tie in every shade right through to the black accent cushions. Of course, your wall art doesn’t have to appear as a spectrum, but look for pieces that work all the way though your color story, from light to dark.
I’m drawn to anything abstract, anything non-representational, anything that looks like it needs a paragraph-long explanation about the artist’s intentions.
I like looking at modern art on the walls in museums, but I love it on the walls of a home even more.
Contemporary art is the art of our times and the art that reflects who we are individually and as a society. It engages the eye and the mind and can open doors and windows to places as remote as Kyoto or as close as Brooklyn. It should not be difficult to live with such an engaging and interesting form of expression, and yet, as an interior designer and a collector myself, I see that not enough people are enjoying the opportunity to live with art.